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Vincenzo Natali Unearthing Tunnels

Splice director on a new adventure film

Cube director Vincenzo Natali, who has been making waves at Sundance and beyond with DNA-tinkering horror Splice, is looking to go in a slightly more family friendly direction in the future, signing on to make Tunnels, based on a children’s book series.

Relativity Media has been hoping for a new kiddie franchise ever since it snapped up the rights to Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams’ first book three years ago. Since then, the writers have cranked out two sequels, Deeper and Freefall, the latter of which will arrive on bookshelves this year.

Simon Sandquist and Joel Bergvall are behind the screenplay adaptation of the first story, which finds a 14-year-old boy searching for his missing archaeologist father, only to discover a hidden underground world ruled by a nasty race known as the Styx.

“This first installment of the Tunnels franchise will open up a whole new universe of excitement and adventure," Mark Canton told The Hollywood Reporter, while subconsciously adding, “and we hope it secures us some of that sweet Potter-style cash.”

He’d better hope Natali doesn’t decide to spice things up with liberal lashings of blood…