Screenwriters Al Gough and Miles Millar have signed on to adapt "I Am Number 4" for producer Michael Bay and DreamWorks Studios.
In June, the studio pre-emptively purchased the film rights to the unpublished science fiction novel written by Jobie Hughes and "A Million Little Pieces" author James Frey. The "4" story line involves a group of teenage alien refugees assimilating to high school on Earth when they discover that their home planet's enemy is now hunting them on their new turf.
Bay is a potential to direct.
"We couldn't be more thrilled to have Al and Miles joining DreamWorks on this exciting project," said Mark Sourian, co-president of production for DreamWorks. "Their body of work illustrates their expertise in this genre, and we look forward to them bringing their vision to this very unique property."
Genre fans have pointed out the concept's similarity to the 1999-2002 UPN show "Roswell," which explored the relationships of teenage alien-human hybrids on Earth. Gough and Millar mined similar terrain themselves with their long-running WB show "Smallville," about young Clark Kent/Superman's challenges as a teen.
"District 9," which has grossed $77 million domestic since TriStar Pictures released it two weeks ago, has found success recently in exploring the alien-refugee context.
"I Am Number 4" is the first in a planned four-volume young-adult series to be published by HarperCollins Children's Books in North America.
J.C. Spink and Chris Bender of BenderSpink are executive producing the project.
The CAA-repped Gough and Millar also wrote the scripts for "Shanghai Noon," "Shanghai Knights" and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor." They produced "Hannah Montana: The Movie" for Disney and are producing the DreamWorks project "Quartermain."