Australian screenwriter John Collee has been hired by Fox 2000 to adapt supernatural thriller The Secret Journeys of Jack London: The Wild.

The Scottish-born writer and former doctor, who is based in Sydney, confirmed the news to IF, after being reported by Variety.

Best known for penning Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and Happy Feet, Collee says the screenplay will be “quite different” to the Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon novel, but wouldn't reveal much more.

The HarperCollins-published novel, which Fox 2000 purchased the rights of last year, tells the story of a young Jack London, who sets off on a journey to the Yukon at the end of the 19th Century, facing obstacles in his way while discovering something sinister and mysterious is waiting for him deep within the frozen woods.

“It’s an exciting project,” Collee says, adding the first draft will be delivered this month.

A potential franchise could be on the cards after a second book, The Secret Journeys of Jack London: The Sea Wolves, is set to be released in February, next year.

Collee, the co-founder of Hopscotch Features, is also set to step into the director’s chair for the first time with action/thriller Black Honeymoon, as first reported by IF. The film, which Collee finished writing last year, follows a newlywed couple, who are pulled from Paris and then thrust deep into Congo where they are both in danger…especially from each other's darkest secrets.

Finance (about $10 million) is currently being raised for the Impian Films/Martin Brown Films project, which is set to be filmed in Paris, France and Congo, Central Africa.

Walking With Dinosaurs 3D, which Collee also wrote, will now be released in October, 2013, according to Fox (rather than December, 2013). Filming for the live backgrounds has begun on the $65 million film, which is based on the popular BBC series. The animation and visual effects work will be carried out by Sydney’s Animal Logic.

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  1. Let me get this right. A writer is hired to adapt a successful book for the screen. The book already has a sequel lined up and is expected to continue as a series. The film is expected to be the first of a series of films shadowing the books.

    And the first thing the screenwriter says is that the screenplay will be “quite different” from the novel????

    Has he informed the film’s producer of this? The director? The book’s ready-made audience for the film?

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