Mandate Pictures have won the movie rights package to Day of the Triffids in an auction that ended at seven figures. They'll be working in tandem with Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert's Ghost House Pictures, with the word on the street being that Raimi wants to direct the Triffids himself.
As previously reported, the deal was being shopped around by producers Michael Preger and Don Murphy. Preger has acquired the rights to John Wyndham's novel over a period of years, and was also behind John Carpenter's 1995 Village of the Damned (based on the 1960 film, which is based on Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos).
Also present at the auction were Warner Bros, who wanted to set up a Triffids project with Harry Potter director David Yates. Mandate won out though, paying the most they've ever laid out for a "project package". The "original film", directed in the UK in 1962 by Steve Sekely starring Howard Keel, is apparently a childhood favourite of Raimi's. Nobody's mentioning whether or not he's read the book.
Day of the Triffids, should you be unaware, is the story of Bill Masen, the almost-lone sighted man in an England gone blind following a devastating meteor shower, leading fellow survivors to safety through a country overrun by giant killer plants. The 1962 film was the first adaptation (not including radio versions), and the BBC have attempted it twice, in the early 80s, and last Christmas (Preger was behind that one too).
Nobody's yet quite nailed it for the screen (least said about last Christmas' adaptation of the ending, the better), so we're looking forward to seeing how it turns out in Raimi 3D crash-zoom Triffid-cam. But with Oz, the Great and Powerful and Warcraft still spinning, when will he find the time?