300 producer Mark Canton is tapping into the rich popularity of the zombie genre by optioning Play Dead, the first novel from former actor Ryan Brown.

Variety has the news on this project, which will center on a group of football players who are turned into zombies and wreak havoc upon a small Texas town obsessed with the sport. Here's the plot rundown of the book, which was just published on October 19:

"Two cultural obsessions collide head-on in this fast-paced, thrilling, and terribly funny debut by former actor Brown. In the sleepy town of Killington, Tex., the local high school's football team is having its best season in decades thanks to the efforts of quarterback Cole Logan. Afraid of losing the district championship, the rival Elmwood team sends the Killington bus into a river, drowning everyone on the team except Cole and the coach. Only local witch and football fan Black Mona can raise the players from the dead in time for the game, but if they keep stopping to eat people, they might miss it. Brown handily mixes elements of horror, coming-of-age sweetness, and gore-soaked comedy into a tale that satisfies the same fascination with sports and bloodlust that it cleverly and thoughtfully critiques."

Novelist/screenwriter Joe Schreiber will adapt the novel for Mark Canton and his Atmosphere Entertainment shingle. New production company Lucky VIII Films will also take part in the production. Filming will take place during the third quarter of 2011.

Ryan Brown's acting credits include stints on The Young and the Restless, Guiding Light and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.