Veronica Cossanteli’s middle-grade debut novel The Extincts (Chicken House) is being developed for film by Cirrina Studios, with a 2019 release planned.
Oscar-winning filmmaker William Joyce will direct, while David Lipman, producer of "Shrek 2", will adapt. Chicken House publisher Barry Cunningham will be executive producer alongside Jane Startz.
Originally published in 2013, The Extincts was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and has sold to 12 territories worldwide. It follows the adventures of animal-mad George, of Wormestall Farm, who goes to find Mortifer the giant basilisk before evil taxidermist Diamond Pye does. Rights to The Extincts were sold in Australia, Audio World English, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Romania, Turkey and the USA.
Cunningham said: “I'm super excited to see Veronica Cossanteli’s marvellous, child-friendly story adapted by a creative world-class animation team – another example of Chicken House's great ability to work with new authors with fantastic results.”
Film rights were originally sold in 2014 to US-based Moonbot Studios, which Joyce co-founded with the deal struck by Jane Startz Productions and Chicken House Entertainment, the publisher's media arm. Cirrina Studios was established last month in Santa Monica.