Columbus discovers Koryta

Yeah, the headline is a bad one, but I could not help myself.

Chris Columbus has picked up the option for Michael Koryta‘s THE CYPRESS HOUSE.

 The story is set along an isolated stretch of the Florida Gulf Coast during the devastating 1935 hurricane. The protagonist, Arlen Wagner has an awful gift: he can see death in the eyes of men before it strikes. He’s never wrong.  He and his friend Paul Brickhill are traveling by train to a new CCC camp in the Florida Keys when Arlen’s supernatural sense tells him they have to get off the train if they want to stay alive. They find themselves at Cypress House, a strangely empty fishing resort on the Gulf Coast run by beautiful Rebecca Cady—and right in the middle of a vipers’ nest of small-town corruption and misery.  

Chris Columbus brought Harry Potter and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson to the big screen as well as being behind HOME ALONE, MRS. DOUBTFIRE and GREMLINS. Columbus will handling the writing duties himself, and will produce along with his partners Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe.
I asked Michael for his thoughts on Mr. Columbus:

“He’s enjoyed a really long run, and that’s indicative of talent, work ethic, and ability to connect with the audience. His stories do that consistently, and that’s the first goal, isn’t it? The one that matters most. While I know there are plenty of Harry Potter fans who think the series improved after Chris passed off the franchise, they forget that he put the foundation in place. He taught those kids how to act, and somehow got them through unprecedented media scrutiny. Surely, they should be better equipped to perform at 17 than they were at 11 or 12, and the CGI has been improving rapidly, so it’s tough to compare that series from film to film. I really am impressed when you look at his body of work and see the longevity and the work ethic.

Not only does he respect the man but he, like myself, grew up with his films.

“I grew up on Chris’s movies — Goonies, Gremlins, come on! Great stuff. I’m most impressed by the guy himself, though. He’s incredibly low-key, very humble, and loves books, loves stories. When you spend time with Chris, you have to remind yourself that he’s made a few billion at the box office, because he certainly isn’t going to remind you, or even imply it. I’m excited to have him on the project, to say the least. I’ve seen a draft of his script and we’ve discussed and he could not be more open to considering thoughts, or more concerned with being faithful to the novel, which is obviously a dream scenario for me.”