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True Grit meets 28 Days Later-described Devils Unto Dust to go to film

Author Emma Berquist must be feeling pretty good right about now, as her debut novel Devils Unto Dust has been pre-preemptively acquired by New Regency with the intention of adapting the story into a full-length feature film.

Devils Unto Dust, which will be published by HarperCollins under the Greenwillow imprint, follows 17-year-old Daisy Wilcox’s journey through 1870’s West Texas during a Reconstruction period plagued by a deadly virus infecting thousands with a rabies-like disease that turns people into murderous “Shakes.” When Daisy’s father disappears, Daisy hires two Shake-hunters who specialize in killing the infected, and sets off into the terrorscape of the western frontier to find him.

Big Talk Pictures’ Nira Park will produce in conjunction with New Regency’s Arnon Milchan. Big Talk’s Rachael Prior will executive produce while Sam Hanson of New Regency will oversee the project.

Upon landing the deal, Big Talk Pictures' Nira Park stated, “Very occasionally, you read a piece of material that stops you in your tracks. Devils Unto Dust is just such a piece and we’re thrilled Emma’s trusting us with adapting. Daisy is an utterly compelling heroine – a young woman who does not and cannot give up. The stage Emma has set for her story is distinct and highly evocative. We’re delighted to be partnering with New Regency on this project, who fell for it as fast and hard as we did.”

Whoa, a zombie-like flick set in a rugged 1870's Texas? Sign me up for that! Like anyone, I've often fantasized about how I'd go about surviving a small-scale zombie invasion. First, I consider my surroundings and take a mental inventory of what weapons I have at my disposal. The crux of this scenario is that I'm considering the situation for modern times. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to cope with a zombie invasion in the 1870's, with very little in terms of weaponry and medical supplies at the ready. I'll be checking this one out for sure, if only because the premise really intrigues me. 

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