Fox's Adaptation Of Young-Adult Hit <i>The Maze Runner</i> Gets A Writer

Fox has hired a former Today producer to pen the screenplay for Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke's adaptation of the popular young-adult science fiction novel The Maze Runner.

Noah Oppenheim, senior producer for the NBC morning show from 2005 to 2008 before joining Reveille Productions (The Office, The Tudors) as head of development, is quickly developing a screenwriting resume with an adaptation of the Swedish thriller Snabba Cash for Zac Effron and Jackie, about Jackie Kennedy in the days following JFK's assassination, for Steven Spielberg.

This will be Oppenheim's first stab transforming a popular young-adult novel into a successful movie, something that 24 Frames notes is no easy task (see Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant and The Golden Compass for cautionary tales). Hardwicke, who signed on to The Maze Runner last month, has become the go-to director for such YA fare, despite being passed over by Summit Entertainment for the Twilight sequels. Her gothic-horror retelling of Red Riding Hood opens in March, with an adaptation of James Patterson's young-adult science fiction novel Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment in the works.

Based on James Dashner's bestselling 2009 dystopian novel -- the first in a planned trilogy -- The Maze Runner centers on a group of boys, and one girl, who are trapped in an alternate universe called the Glade, shut off from the outside world by a monster-filled maze. The second book, The Scorched Trials, was released in October.

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