Robert Zemeckis Possesses Demonologist

Universal picks up unpublished novel

Screenwriter Sean Hood recently blogged that, rather than trying to get an original spec script accepted in Hollywood at the moment, you're possibly better off writing a novel. That advice would seem to be borne out by Andrew Pyper, who just sold his unpublished manuscript for The Demonologist to Universal. Specifically, the studio picked it up for ImageMovers, the production company of Robert Zemeckis and his partners Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey.

Given that the book isn't out yet, few people have read it, but the word on the street is that it's about an academic working on Christian mythology. Said scholar views the works he studies as purely fictional, but is forced into a rethink when the "being" that's the subject of his life's work gets hold of his daughter during a case study in Italy.

Pyper is a Canadian author who won the Arthur Ellis award for his first novel, the crime story Lost Girls, in 1999. His other books include a haunted-house horror (The Guardians), a serial-killer thriller (The Killing Circle) and a wilderness drama (The Wildfire Season). The Demonologist will be auctioned to publishers shortly.

Zemeckis' personal plans for the project are anyone's guess, since, last we heard, he remains involved as a producer with Here There Be Monsters, Replay, Major Matt Mason and Charles Fort. The Demonologist will just have to join the queue.

Zemeckis also just directed Flight, which stars Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle and Melissa Leo. His first live-action movie since Cast Away twelve years ago, it's currently in post-production and is due out some time this year.