Luke Scott is set to direct THE HUNGER, an adaption of Alma Katsu’s upcoming novel about the Donner Party tragedy.
Fox and Scott Free Productions will spearhead the film, with Lauren Oliver and Lexa Hillyer of Paper Lantern Lit — the literary development company behind Katsu’s novel — serving as executive producers.
Scott, son of director Ridley Scott (ALIEN, BLADE RUNNER), will also script the film, which gives the historic tragedy a zombie twist.
The Donner Party became a notorious chapter in American history after 87 pioneers led by George Donner and James F. Reed set out on an ill-fated attempt to reach California by wagon train in 1846. Hampered by a series of mishaps, the party spent the winter snowbound in the Sierra Nevada. With little food remaining, some members of the party reportedly resorted to cannibalism to survive. Only 48 of the group would finally reach California.
Backed by such a famously grim event, THE HUNGER could be a thrilling and tense experience, especially with a dose of zombie mayhem thrown in. Moreover, the actual event forced the starving pioneers into distrustful splinter groups, which presents a fascinating opportunity to explore their mounting paranoia as cannibalism becomes one of the last options available to them.
THE HUNGER marks Luke Scott’s second turn as a film director. His feature directorial debut is the science-fiction film MORGAN which hits theaters Sept. 2 and stars Rose Leslie, Kate Mara, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michelle Yeoh, Paul Giamatti.
Previously, Luke Scott served as a second-unit director on EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, and he helmed an episode of an anthology television series also called “The Hunger” in 1999.
Directing success runs in the Scott family, and it will be interesting to see his career develop. His father’s resume includes numerous Hollywood hits. And Ridley Scott’s younger brother, Tony Scott, who died in 2012, had such directing credits as TOP GUN, THE LAST BOY SCOUT and TRUE ROMANCE.