By Drew Taylor | The Playlist February 23, 2012 at 1:20PM
In a preemptive bid sure to send any number of struggling novelists scrambling back to their word processors, Deadline notes that Universal has acquired an unpublished manuscript by Andrew Pyper called "Demonologist," which is set to be produced by ImageMovers partners Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey.
According to Deadline, the book, which is set to be sold at auction in the not-too-distant future, has a plot described as: "When a professor who studies 'Paradise Lost,' accepts a free trip to Italy, a demonic spirit appears to kill his daughter, and he must go on a dark journey of discovery in hopes of getting her back." Despite the awkwardness of that sentence, it does sound pretty cool. Dark journeys of discovery are the best, right? At this point it's unclear whether or not Zemeckis will jump into the director's seat. Something tells us this is going to take fucking forever to get through the development process and when the smoke clears we're pretty sure Zemeckis will stay on as a producer.
If it's one thing Zemeckis loves, its spooky stuff – he was a longtime producer on HBO's horror anthology series "Tales from the Crypt" (and its two underappreciated big-screen incarnations) and Peter Jackson's "The Frighteners," and has directed the ghoulish dark comedy "Death Becomes Her," the Harrison Ford/Michelle Pfeiffer ghost story "What Lies Beneath," and turned epic poem "Beowulf" into a jazzed-up 3D animated monster movie (at one point he wanted to release an explicit NC-17 version in IMAX with a tamer PG-13 variation to regular theaters), so this fits nicely within his terrifying wheelhouse. His next gig as a director will be the Denzel Washington-starrer "Flight," his first live action movie since "Cast Away," which is scheduled for release later this year. We can't wait.