Last year, Universal Pictures acquired the rights to adapt Scythe, Neal Shusterman’s YA novel envisioning a future in which people called “scythes” keep overpopulation in check by killing others at random—mimicking the death that no longer occurs now that mankind has eradicated all disease. Deadline reports that the studio has landed on its writers: Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken, who penned the screenplay for 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Campbell has also worked on an editor for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Van Helsing, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster, Scythe was a 2017 Printz Award Honor Book for its “powerful examination of ethics, humanity and the flaws of immortality.” The synopsis:
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all of those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequences of failure could mean losing their own.
Shusterman will serve as executive producer on the film.