Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey's Icon Prods. has optioned the rights to a Libba Bray book trilogy to develop as a big screen franchise and set helmer Charles Sturridge to direct the first installment, according to Variety.

The books center on four rebel teens in Victorian England who gain power from access to a mysterious realm. Sturridge will also adapt the first pic, A Great and Terrible Beauty.

The story centers on Gemma Doyle, a free spirit brought up in India who witnesses the death of her mother. At boarding school she uncovers a conspiracy surrounding her mom's death that draws her into a world of magic and deception.

The first two books in the trilogy -- A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels -- were New York Times bestsellers published by Delacorte Books. Third book is due out next year.