Paul W. S. Anderson and longtime producing partner Jeremy Bolt have acquired film rights to Peter V. Brett's debut fantasy novel The Warded Man, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Anderson is attached to direct and will produce with Bolt. Stephanie Johnson, who brought the title to the pair, will executive produce.

The book is set in an undetermined future where mankind is beset by nightly attacks from demonkind and has been thrown back into a feudal state. Three young people emerge with the potential power to turn the tide, including the title character, a man who has wards (spells) tattooed on his body.

"It was an occasion where it paid to be British," Anderson said. "It launched in the U.K. six months earlier than in the U.S., and we got wind of it when it was in galley form before the U.K. release. We think it has the potential to be a new 'Lord of the Rings'-style epic, and the book has all this great imagery."

Novelist Brett was an ad man with a two-hour commute to Manhattan; he wrote the book on his BlackBerry.

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