Mikael Håfström to Direct Young Adult Fantasy Adventure 'Tunnels'
by Ben Pearson
February 28, 2013
With a filmography that includes the paranormal spookfest 1408, the dark marital thriller Derailed, and the exorcism drama The Rite, Swedish director Mikael Håfström isn't exactly synonymous with kid-friendly filmmaking. But there's a first time for everything, and a press release reveals that Håfström has signed on to direct Tunnels, an adaptation of the 2009 young adult novel written by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams. Relativity Media is producing the film, which follows two teenage boys who discover a secret underground civilization beneath the streets of London, waiting for a hero to come to their aid. Read on!
Tunnels is the first of six books in the series, so there's obvious franchise potential in mind here for the studio. The Amazon synopsis of the first book says the action begins when the father of one of the protagonists disappears and the boy goes searching for him, which sounds an awful lot like the plotline of the upcoming The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. It's a standard device that's been used hundreds of times in fiction before, but maybe writer Andrew Lobel (rewriting an adapted screenplay by Joel Bergvall & Simon Sandquist) will tweak this story a little to avoid comparisons with the other YA adaptation that will beat it to theaters.
Mark Canton (300, Immortals), Neil Canton (Back to the Future) and Danny Davids are producing alongside Relativity's CEO Ryan Kavanaugh (The Fighter). No start date has been announced for Tunnels yet, but Håfström just completed filming the new Schwarzenegger and Stallone prison break movie The Tomb, and since that film opens in late September, there's a tiny possibility he could fire through production on Tunnels before The Tomb's press tour gets underway. A lot would have to fall into place very quickly for them to meet that timetable, so we'll keep you posted as more announcements come our way.