Michael Gracey Set to Direct Universal’s ‘Daughter of Smoke & Bone’ Adaptation

From the Hollywood Reporter:daughter

Michael Gracey, a former animator turned commercials director, has closed a deal to direct Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Universal’s adaptation of the young-adult fantasy book by Laini Taylor.

Joe Roth, the producer of Oz the Great and Powerful and Universal’s own Snow White and the Huntsman, as well as Palak Patel are producing the project, which the studio picked up in December 2011.

Universal is clearly hoping to stroke a gold vein as it mines the young adult market. Smoke & Bone is the first of a trilogy and was quite the acclaimed hit when published in September 2011. It was Amazon’s #1 Teen Book of 2011, a Publishers Weekly Best Books 2011, a Huffington Post Top 10 YA Book of 2011, and a New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2011. The book was also Amazon U.K.’s #1 YA book 2012 and Winner of an Audie Award for Best FantasyAudio book.

The second book, Days of Blood & Starlight, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller and was named a Best Book of 2012 by Amazon and Publishers Weekly, as well as the “next big thing” by Wired Magazine.

The final book in the trilogy, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, will be released in spring 2014 and has already been sold in 13 foreign markets.

Smoke & Bone tells the tale of a 17-year-old art student whose father occasionally sends her on errands around the world collecting human teeth for a mysterious purpose. The young woman gradually becomes aware that she is part of an ancient struggle between devils and angels and finds herself in a forbidden romance with a warrior angel.

Stuart Beattie (Collateral) adapted the screenplay, with additional rewrites by Taylor. (Taylor is also exec producing with her manager and producing partner, Jane Putch.)

Repped by CAA, Partizan and attorney Bob Wallerstein. Gracey has several projects in development, including and The Greatest Showman on Earth, starring Hugh Jackman. The movie which is likely to be his feature debut is Rocketman, an Elton John biopic with Tom Hardy attached to star as the singer-songwriter.

Vice president of production Maradith Frenkel and creative executive Sara Scott are overseeing the project for Universal.

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