By Edward Davis | The Playlist December 1, 2010 at 8:02AM
She got the "Twilight" franchise off and running and has retold a familiar fairy tale in "Red Riding Hood" hitting theaters next spring and now, Catherine Hardwicke has her eyes set on another major franchise project.
A representative for Catherine Hardwicke confirms that the director is in early negotiations to helm "The Maze Runner." Based on the book by James Dasher, the first in a young-adult dystopian science fiction trilogy which includes "The Scorch Trials," the story centers on the teenaged Thomas who is dropped into a mysterious, enclosed environment known as "the glade" that is surrounded by a maze from which he cannot escape.
The project is currently set up at Fox, who are undoubtedly eyeing it as a major tentpole. The books have a legion of fans, and this past September, James Dasher announced that he has just turned in the manuscript for the final entry, "The Death Cure." Here's a longer synopsis of "The Maze Runner" from Amazon:
Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "the glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Thomas is a likable protagonist who uses the information available to him and his relationships (including his ties to the girl, Teresa) to lead the Gladers.
The film will be produced by Lindsay Williams with James Dasher writing the script based on his novel.