Vincenzo Natali makes Tunnels

Cube director Vincenzo Natali made waves at this year’s Sundance Film Festival with science-fiction flick Splice .

Now he’s looking to adapt the first in the Tunnels series of novels - dubbed the best thing since Harry Potter on its initial release - with a view to kicking off a possible new fantasy franchise.

The first Tunnels novel, simply called Tunnels and written by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams, is the story of 14-year-old Will, who loves digging up bits of the past (literally).

When his archaeologist father goes missing, Will is drawn into a subterranean world that is both beautiful and ruthless, ruled by the Styx people.

Producer Mark Canton said:

“This first installment of the Tunnels franchise will open up a whole new universe of excitement and adventure to audiences throughout the world.

“It represents the next level in family entertainment, combining a science-based reality reminiscent of the classic fiction of Verne and Wells, but in a completely contemporary setting, with today’s immersive cinematic technology to create a believable, yet unforgettable movie-going experience.”

Which is basically a lot of movie hyperbole.

But this could be an interesting successor to Harry Potter if a Percy Jackson movie franchise fails to get off the ground. And with Natali at the helm, you can expect many of the meaner aspects of the series to translate untarnished.

The second Tunnels novel Deeper has already hit shelves, while the third, Freefall is out this year.

Read the books? Want movies? Give us a shout…

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.