Shadowmancer: According to Variety, in its first significant entry into the kid fantasy genre, Universal Pictures has made a seven-figure acquisition of G.P. Taylor bestseller "Shadowmancer" and will adapt it for the bigscreen.

Fortitude Films, which made its first foray into the film business in March by paying Taylor $1 million against $6.2 million for the book, will be the film's producer.

Universal will move quickly to hire a scribe for the 17th-century-set tale about a group of kids who try to steal an ancient relic that will be used by an evil sorcerer to bring darkness to the world.

Fortitude makes the U-turn as it sews up a deal with the author for screen rights to Taylor's first nine novels. Deal also would make him the host of a feature documentary about supernatural myths and a talkshow pilot called "Celebrity Dinner."

Fortitude already agreed to pay $1.8 million against $6.5 million for "Wormwood," Taylor's second novel, which is a best-seller in the U.K. and will be published Stateside in the fall.