Gary Ross, Gravity Keeper?

The battle to find the next set of films based on kids – sorry, “young adult” – books that can fill the gaping Potter void continues. While such tomes as Eragon lie bleeding and prone on the floor, Universal is hoping that it’s found a likely contender.

It has grabbed the rights to Michael Reisman’s book Simon Bloom, Gravity Keeper before it has even been published (no surprise there). And the studio is hoping that the man behind Pleasantville and Seabiscuit, Gary Ross, will want to direct it.

Ross for now has agreed to produce at least, and will help shepherd the tale of our 11-year-old hero as he and his friends get hold of a book that teaches them how to alter the laws of physics. Yes, despite Scotty’s exhortations in Star Trek that it’s impossible, anything can happen in the world of kid fiction. Apparently Reisman has planned a series of novels that see the characters bending the rules of chemistry and biology, so we can expect the American Christian right to hate them before they even hit the shelves.

"We really like that it's about a magical world that doesn't involve wizards or things like that. Science is the magic of the story. The kids are learning the laws of physics so they can break them. It's like a new kind of superhero movie,” Allison Thomas, Ross’ producing partner told The Hollywood Reporter. Just what has she got against wizards, eh?