David Petersen's fantasy comic book series Mouse Guard may be getting closer to the big screen, as Deadline reported Friday that 20th Century Fox is pursuing Maze Runner director Wes Ball to helm the feature film adaptation.
Ball's next film is the latest in the Maze Runner series, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, scheduled for release in Jan. 2018. He's directed all three films in the franchise, starting with the 2014 original.
News of the Mouse Guard film's development first circulated in July 2016, with Gary Whitta (Star Wars: Rogue One, After Earth) on board as screenwriter and Matt Reeves (director of War for the Planet of the Apes and Warner Bros.' upcoming solo Batman film) as producer. Deadline notes that the Mouse Guard film is expected to utilize similar performance-capture technology as seen in the Apes film to bring the titular mice to life.
Mouse Guard started as a self-published comic in 2005, and quickly moved to what was then known as Archaia Studios Press. The series stars walking, talking mice in a world with no humans -- specifically the Mouse Guard, who are sworn to protect civilians -- and is set in the medieval era.
The Mouse Guard film is part of the first-look deal that 20th Century Fox has with BOOM! Studios, which acquired Archaia in 2013. In June 2017, Fox purchased a minority stake in BOOM! Studios.