Oh, come on. Novelist Seth Grahame-Smith has made a fair bit of scratch by plundering better novels and more interesting lives to pen his own ridiculous brand of revisionist history for the page – stuff like “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” – and while both books have sold like gangbusters, neither has yet proved their worth at the box office. The adaptation of Zombies has been passed around Hollywood more often than an old holiday fruitcake, with directors jumping ship left and right and without a locked-in leading lady, and while Vampire Hunter has a great cast and will actually open in theaters thanks to director Timur Bekmambetov, it still remains to be seen just how that will play with the movie-going public. And with a real Lincoln biopic on the horizon, from no less than Steven Spielberg, it’s hard times out there for a zany take on an American president.
But it’s not hard out there for Grahame-Smith, who has sold his latest (still unpublished) novel to a studio eager to adapt it for the screen. Are you ready for what it’s about? You can’t possibly be. What else could a writer whose all but desecrated a classic work of fiction and pissed all over the life story of the greatest American president with en vogue vampire lore?
Jesus Christ. No, actually Jesus Christ, specifically the birth of Christ. Grahame-Smith’s latest book is called “Unholy Night,” and it focuses on “an action/adventure surrounding the Three Wise Men of the Nativity.” The book will not be published until April, but Warner Bros. has acquired the screen rights to the book for a reported $2m-range pricetag. Grahame-Smith will adapt the book and will also produce the film with his partner David Katzenberg through their KatzSmith label, along with Heyday Films’ David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. Me? I’ll just be over here burning my books and rethinking just what exactly it is that Hollywood considers marketable quality.
The book’s Amazon page describes the book’s plot as such:
“They’re an iconic part of history’s most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity, besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has little to say about this enigmatic trio. But leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith, the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale.
In Grahame-Smith’s telling, the so-called “Three Wise Men” are infamous thieves, led by the dark, murderous Balthazar. After a daring escape from Herod’s prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by young Joseph, Mary and their infant. But when Herod’s men begin to slaughter the first born in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt.
It’s the beginning of an adventure that will see them fight the last magical creatures of the Old Testament; cross paths with biblical figures like Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist; and finally deliver them to Egypt. It may just be the greatest story never told.”
If this book in any way involves werewolves or mummies or — I can’t. I just can’t. I will, however, take a moment to point out that my opinion on Grahame-Smith and his works is not the popular one at FSR, so if you are a fan, please feel free to click on that little “Seth Grahame-Smith” tag below, which will lead you to other articles about the novelist and screenwriter that are far less screechy than this one. [Deadline Bethlehem]