Walden Media has acquired the rights to Isabel Allende's trilogy featuring young adventurer Alexander Cold, a series of books that marked the famed author's first foray into young adult literature. City of the Beasts, the first book of the trilogy, will be produced by Barrie Osborne (The Lord of the Rings trilogy). David Rothenberg (Modoc) will adapt from Allende's novel and co-produce. The books are published by HarperCollins, who partnered with Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures on the successful launch of the Chronicles of Narnia film franchise.
Set in the lush and treacherous Amazon rain forests, City of the Beasts is the story of 15-year-old Alexander Cold and 12-year-old Nadia Santos. Alex is spending the summer with his eccentric archaeologist grandmother, who has been hired to find and write an article on the mythical "Yeti of the Amazon." While on the expedition, the two teens are kidnapped by the "People of the Mist" and enter a mountain to discover the mythical city of El Dorado and the enigmatic "Beasts."
"Walden Media's commitment to collaborate with world-class authors and great children's literature continues with our partnership with Isabel Allende," said Walden Media executive vice president of production Alex Schwartz. "Allende's trilogy follows in the grand tradition of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Dark is Rising of thrilling fantasy epics that are ideally suited to become successful family franchises. We look forward to working with Ms. Allende, Barrie Osborne, and David Rothenberg on this truly exciting project."
Published in 2002 by in English by HarperCollins and in Spanish by Rayo, City of the Beasts was an international bestseller. The subsequent books in the trilogy, Kingdom of the Golden Dragon and Forest of the Pygmies, were published in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Allende is best known for her numerous international best-sellers for adult readers, including Zorro, Portrait in Sepia, Daughter of Fortune, The Infinite Plan, Eva Luna, Of Love and Shadows, and The House of the Spirits. City of the Beasts would be the third Allende book adapted into a film, following Of Love and Shadows and The House of the Spirits.