Maximum Ride to become a filmColumbia Pictures has acquired the screen rights to “Maximum Ride,” the best-selling young adult novel by James Patterson. As Variety reports, the studio has hired Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer scribe Don Payne to adapt the script.

The story, for those who have not read the books, follows Maximum Ride, more widely known as Max, the leader of a group of genetically modified teens who were created to be 98% human and 2% bird. Bred to fly and confined to a lab-rat-esque existence, the teens escape the secret facility and go on the run. Once on the run, they are tracked by beings known as Erasers, who are human-lupine (wolf) hybrids.

Basically the first book sees the group of 6 being liberated from the school and taken to a ranch on Colorado. But when the Erasers catch up to them and capture the youngest of the group, named Angel, the others must go on an adventure to get her back. The other four books in the series, one of which is due out in March 2009, take the group all over the world as they attempt to escape the grips of the Erasers and live free, as any human-bird hybrids should.

It is an incredibly interesting concept, especially for a film. Imagine how cool it could possibly be to see human-bird hybrids on film. It will be like seeing Ben Foster’s character Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand, only this time it will be an entire film and the entire experience might not be a complete letdown.

Also notable is the fact that Marvel chief Avi Arad is on to produce alongside Ghost Rider and Doomsday producer Steven Paul.

Has anyone out there read the “Maximum Ride” books? If so, what do you think about Columbia Pictures actively developing a film adaptation?

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