According to Variety, Universal has acquired screen rights to the young adult fantasy novel series "Outcast" and set Charlie Mitchell to write the script.

Mitchell will produce with Donaldson/Sanders' Peter Donaldson and Circle Of Confusion's Jason Lust.

The "Outcast" books, by Christopher Golden and Thomas Sniegoski, explore a young adult world of magic a la "Harry Potter" and "Shadowmancer" (the latter also is being developed by Universal).

Outcast takes place in Arcanum, where everyone except a young boy named Timothy possesses some magical power.

The series began with book "The Un-Magician" and continued with "Dragon Secrets" and "Ghostfire," published by Simon & Schuster.

Mitchell, who is currently writing "Sinbad" for Sony (Rob Cohen directs Keanu Reeves), did an uncredited rewrite of Cinderella Man and wrote "Children of the Dustbowl," a film to star and be produced by Jim Carrey.

Brian B.