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'Twilight's' Stephenie Meyer developing 'Anna Dressed in Blood'

January 19, 2013|By Steven Zeitchik
  • A cover shot of 'Anna Dressed in Blood.'
A cover shot of 'Anna Dressed in Blood.' (Bloomsbury )

PARK CITY, Utah -- Now that the "Twilight" franchise is behind her, Stephenie Meyer, the woman who created the vampire world of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, is upping her efforts in a different department: movie producing.

And Meyer has a juicy new project, The Times has learned: "Anna Dressed in Blood," a young-adult ghost story from the acclaimed author Kendare Blake.

Blake's book is a supernatural tale about a man named Cas who travels the world killing the dead -- he's a ghost hunter, essentially -- but runs up against a vexing case in the ghost of Anna, a woman who was brutally murdered in 1958 and who continues to haunt a small-town home.

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The book generated hugely positive reviews when it came out last summer. And wouldn't you know it: Critics are already comparing it to a certain blockbuster franchise. "Cinematic and compelling. Blake’s smooth combination of gore and romance should have little problem attracting the Twilight crowd," wrote Booklist.

Meyer and her producing partner at company Fickle Fish have optioned the book’s rights and begun developing the film, with Meyer set to produce (but probably not write), according to a person familiar with the project who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak about it publicly.

Meyer brought "Austenland," a story about a woman who attends a Jane Austen fantasy camp, to the Sundance Film Festival. The movie is the first she's producing that isn't based on a book she wrote. (YA author Shannon Hale, a friend of Meyer’s through author circles, wrote the original novel). Directed by Jerusha Hess and starring Keri Russell as the protagonist, the film received a warm reception Friday at Sundance and looks likely to score a distribution deal in the coming days for Meyer, who was a primary financier on the film, and other backers.

Meyer is also producing "The Host," an Andrew Niccol-directed supernatural scifi tale due in March that's based on a book she did write, and as a producer she's also developing another ghost story, "Down a Dark Hall," based on Lois Duncan’s '70s-set novel.

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