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Chris Columbus acquires rights to supernatural noir novel The Cypress House

Jun. 2, 2011by: Eric Walkuski

Chris Columbus and his 1492 Pictures production shingle have acquired the rights to Michael Koryta's thriller THE CYPRESS HOUSE, which was released earlier this year. No screenwriter or director has yet been attached.

In short, the book is about a WWI vet with the supernatural gift/curse of being able to foretell a person's death; he gets involved with some shady characters in a stormy Florida swamp. Sounds to me like a mixture of KEY LARGO and "The Twilight Zone" episode "The Purple Testament". Read on for the book's official synopsis:

Arlen Wagner has an awful gift, first discovered on the battlefields during his Army days: he sees death in the eyes of men before it strikes them. He is never wrong.

Fortunately, the haunting premonitions that plagued him in the war aren't common back home. They aren't, at least, until a hot Florida night in a train car bound for the Keys, when Arlen awakens to find the telltale smoke showing in every man's eyes...

Accompanied by 19-year-old Paul Brickhill, the only person aboard who heeds his strange warnings, Arlen abandons the train. The two soon find themselves in a rural jail, then stranded at The Cypress House—a solitary tavern and boarding house located on the eerie marsh land of the Gulf Coast—right in the path of a hurricane.

The storm isn't the only approaching danger. From the beautiful Rebecca Cady, who owns the roadhouse but seems to host no guests but those hand-picked by the local sheriff, the two men begin to suspect that a much deadlier threat may be hiding in the swamp's shadows, circling, dead set on stopping them from ever escaping the county. From its chilling beginning to heart-pounding end, THE CYPRESS HOUSE is a story of relentless evil and unmatched suspense.

Extra Tidbit: Chris Columbus' last directorial effort was PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEF, starring Rosario Dawson (above).
Source: Deadline.com

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