Miramax doesn't seem to be at a loss for projects lately, so it looks like they have decided to let one go. Variety reports that Gold Circle Films has picked up the rights to the film version of the Thomas Wheeler fantasy novel The Arcanum. Released by Bantam books in 2004, the novel is a fictionalized take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle leading a Super Friends style group of paranormal investigators called The Arcanum -- which includes Harry Houdini and the notorious voodoo priestess Marie Laveau as members. In the novel, The Arcanum is a secret society with a mandate to protect humanity from a variety of things that go "bump in the night" and the novel seems to be chock-full of fantasy and horror references (cameos include appearances by H.P Lovecraft and Aleistar Crowley). Throw in a plot about The Book of Enoch and a serial killer bumping off angels, and you end up with what sounds like a cross between The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Da Vinci Code, with maybe just a dash of Caleb Carr.

The project had been optioned by Miramax in 1999, but had been languishing in turn-around before Gold Circle showed up with designs on a fantasy franchise of their very own. Wheeler adapted the screenplay and a call has already been put out for a director. Gold Circle might not have the same high-profile reputation that Miramax does, but they have a respectable line-up set for the coming year, including Whisper with LOST's Josh Holloway, and the U.S. remake of the South Korean film My Sassy Girl with Elisha Cuthbert. So even if The Arcanum doesn't turn out to be the next great fantasy franchise, one studio's trash could still be another's treasure.
categories Movies, Cinematical