Walden Media has acquired the rights to the Isabel Allende trilogy featuring young adventurer Alexander Cold, which marked the famed author's first foray into young adult literature. CITY OF THE BEASTS, the first book, will be produced by Barrie Osborne (THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy). David Rothenberg (MODOC) will adapt from Allende's novel and co-produce. The books are published by HarperCollins, which partnered with Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures on the successful launch of the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA film franchise.
Set in the lush and treacherous Amazon rain forests, CITY OF THE BEASTS is the story of 15-year-old Cold and 12-year-old Nadia Santos. Cold spends the summer with his eccentric archaeologist grandmother, who has been hired to find and write an article on the mythical "Yeti of the Amazon." While on the expedition, the two teens are kidnapped by the "People of the Mist" and enter a mountain to discover the mythical city of El Dorado and the enigmatic "Beasts."
"Walden Media's commitment to collaborate with world-class authors and great children's literature continues with our partnership with Isabel Allende," said Walden Media evp of production Alex Schwartz. "Allende's trilogy follows in the grand tradition of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and THE DARK IS RISING of thrilling fantasy epics that are ideally suited to become successful family franchises..."
Published in 2002 by in English by HarperCollins and in Spanish by Rayo, CITY OF THE BEASTS was an international bestseller. The subsequent books in the trilogy, KINGDOM OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON and FOREST OF THE PYGMIES, were published in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Allende is best known for her numerous international best-sellers for adult readers, including ZORRO, PORTRAIT IN SEPIA, DAUGHTER OF FORTUNE, THE INFINITE PLAN, EVA LUNA, OF LOVE AND SHADOWS and THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS. CITY OF THE BEASTS would be the third Allende book adapted into a film, following OF LOVE AND SHADOWS and THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS.
Osborne is represented by attorney Mark Stankevich. Rothenberg is represented by Todd Hoffman at BWCS and attorney Carlos Goodman. Schwartz and Jared Mass will oversee the project on Walden Media's behalf. Jim Meenaghan and Tommy Finkelstein negotiated the deals on behalf of Walden Media.
Founded by Cary Granat, former president of Miramax Films' Dimension label, and education reformer Micheal Flaherty, Walden Media, a subsidiary of AFG, specializes in entertainment that sparks the imagination and curiosity of kids and provides parents and teachers with materials to continue the learning process. In association with The Walt Disney Co., Walden Media produced THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, the first live-action feature film adaptation of C.S. Lewis' beloved classic. Upcoming releases include HOOT and HOW TO EAT FRIED WORMS with New Line Cinema, and CHARLOTTE'S WEB with Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies.
HarperCollins Children's Books is one of the leading publishers of children's books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many children's classics: CHARLOTTE'S WEB, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, GOODNIGHT MOON, WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS and WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE; and popular series: A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS and THE PRINCESS DIARIES. HarperCollins Children's Books is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading English language publishers in the world and a subsidiary of News Corp. Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia.