Emma Berquist’s debut novel Devils Unto Dust has had its film rights bought by New Regency before the book has even hit the shelves. HarperCollins will publish the YA novel under its Greenwillow imprint and it will be available in 2018.
New Regency, the production company responsible for The Revenant (2015), Gone Girl (2014) and Assassin’s Creed (2016), have pre-emptively snapped up the rights to the novel by American author and Texas-native Emma Berquist. Big Talk Pictures’Nira Park will produce along with New Regency’s Arnon Milchan, Big Talk’s Rachael Prior executive producing, and Sam Hanson overseeing the project for New Regency.
The book is about 17-year-old Daisy Wilcox’s journey through 1870’s West Texas during a Reconstruction period plagued by a deadly virus, which infects thousands with a rabies-like disease that turns people into murderous “Shakes.” When Daisy’s father disappears, Daisy hires two Shake-hunters who specialise in killing the infected, and sets off into the terrorscape of the western frontier to find him. The ‘period-apocalypse’ story has been described as True Grit meets 28 Days Later.
Big Talk founder and producer Nira Park said:
“Devils Unto Dust [stops you in your tracks] and we’re thrilled Emma’s trusting us with adapting … Daisy is an utterly compelling heroine – a young woman who does not and cannot give up. The stage Emma has set for her story is distinct and highly evocative. We’re delighted to be partnering with New Regency on this project, who fell for it as fast and hard as we did.”
Devils Unto Dust will be available to buy in April 2018.