Exclusive: “WOMAN” and “JUG FACE” producer digs “UNDERTAKERS”—and Laymon
Producer/director Andrew van den Houten of Modernciné has done a lot to bring literary horror to the screen, having adapted Jack Ketchum with THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, OFFSPRING and THE WOMAN and Brian Keene with the recent GHOUL. He gave Fango the scoop about a new book-based project he’s working on—and one he’d like to.
“We’ve bought the rights to a book series called THE UNDERTAKERS by Ty Drago, and it’s really cool,” van den Houten tells us. “It’s kind of like SPY KIDS meets THE WALKING DEAD, if you will.” Currently consisting of two young-adult novels published by Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky—RISE OF THE CORPSES and QUEEN OF THE DEAD—the UNDERTAKERS series is about a group of teens and tweens who battle the Corpses—extradimensional entities that take over and reanimate the bodies of the human dead. “It’s going to be a really fun movie,” the filmmaker says, “and it’s something that we see as a franchise, so hopefully we can team up with a studio on that one.” Stay tuned for updates on this project; you can find out more about THE UNDERTAKERS, including the upcoming novelette NIGHT OF MONSTERS, here, and see a pair of trailers for the books created by the publisher below.
Van den Houten, whose latest film JUG FACE (see story here) is currently playing festivals and goes into general release this summer, also reveals another literary property he’s had his eye on. “There’s a Richard Laymon book I’d love to get the rights to: THE WOODS ARE DARK,” he says. “I know Laymon’s daughter handles all the rights, so if she reads this, I hope she reaches out to us because I would definitely option that book. It’s a property that would be very cool to make into a movie. I think Richard Laymon is one of those writers who are underserved when it comes to adaptations, and I think Modernciné would be a good place for some Laymon projects to get made, because we’ve obviously done a good job with Ketchum and now Brian Keene movies. So it could be a lot of fun.”