Edgar Wright is teaming up with Universal Pictures for his next project. The studio has won the rights to The Chain, the acclaimed novel by author Adrian McKinty. The book has been eyed as a movie for some time, with Paramount Pictures previously looking to close a deal for the rights that never quite came together. Now, Universal has put together an impressive package to bring the thriller to life.

According to a new report, Edgar Wright is set to direct The Chain with Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, X-Men: Days of Future Past) penning the screenplay. Specific financial details were not disclosed, but it is said Universal shelled out seven-figures to get the rights for the book, which was published in 2019. The book became a bestseller in 20 countries, has been published in 41 and made quite a few best of the year lists. Adrian McKinty had previously struggled with sales and had to drive Uber as a side gig to support his family. So this is quite the reversal of fortune for the author. Champion of the book and author, Don Winslow, has called the book, 'Jaws for Parents.'

The Chain tells the story of Rachel Klein who drops her daughter at the bus stop, per usual, and carries on with her day. However, a phone call from an unknown number changes everything as a woman on the line informs her that she has her daughter bound and gagged in her back seat. The only way Rachel will see her again is to follow the mystery caller's instructions exactly. Rachel must pay a ransom and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping as the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken. If Rachel doesn't do as she's told, the boy will die.

This adds yet another project to Edgar Wright's growing to-do list. The filmmaker, best known for movies like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Baby Driver, is currently in post-production on Last Night in Soho, which was recently pushed back to 2021. He is also working on a documentary centered on the band Sparks. And it was previously reported that his next movie will be Set My Heart to Five. Meanwhile, Baby Driver 2 is in development at Sony. This also serves as another big, recent gig for Jane Goldman, who wrote the pilot for the Game of Thrones spin-off that was ultimately scrapped by HBO, as well as Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Nira Park and Shane Salerno are set to produce the movie alongside Edgar Wright. There is no word yet on who may be eyed to star. It also isn't clear how soon this could wind up in production, but that could largely depend on how things shake out in the next few months as studios look to get that side of things up and running again following the closure. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott