August 8, 2008–Columbia has acquired the rights to “Maximum Ride,” James Patterson's bestselling novel series for Don Payne to adapt to the big screen.
It's the story of six children genetically altered to be 98% human and 2% bird. The kids, who are bred to fly, escape a lab-rat existence and are then pursued by their scientist creators, who send part-human part-wolves called Erasers to hunt them down.
The fifth installment of the book series will be published next year. Seaside Entertainments Avi Arad, Ari Arad and Steven Paul will produce, and Patterson will be executive producer.
After producing Marvel's “Spider-Man,” “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” as well as “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk,” Arad hopes that “Maximum Ride” will launch a superhero franchise. The books use man-made mutation as a metaphor of humans trying to take advantage of human frailty and interfere with nature
Paynes credits include “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” and “My Super Ex-Girlfriend.”