Peter Morgan, screenwriter of The Queen, The Last King of Scotland and The Other Boleyn Girl, is fast becoming one of Hollywood's hottest commodities. Variety tells us that his latest, a supernatural thriller called Hereafter, has been sold to Dreamworks for seven figures. Morgan's prestige no doubt helped the sale, though Dreamworks may also have had a Pavlovian response to the fact that the screenplay is pitched as being "in the vein of The Sixth Sense."

Morgan has a unique and very valuable talent for telling stories that are hugely entertaining and "respectable" at the same time. The Other Boleyn Girl was a steamy, melodramatic soap opera that managed to worm its way into the arthouses, presumably because of its historical grounding. His play Frost/Nixon was a political gabfest that became a Broadway sensation and is now being adapted for the screen by Ron Howard. The Queen took a dry subject and transcended demographics on its way to several Oscar nominations. Studios understandably flock to him. I'm very interested to see if he can bring the same sort of aura of dignity to a ghost story. Maybe Hereafter's biggest similarity to The Sixth Sense will be that Morgan, like M. Night Shyamalan, will get the supernatural thriller genre some rare Oscar attention.

No more details about Hereafter are currently available -- it has nothing to do with this David Strathairn film -- but I'm keeping my eye on it.