Another day, another news item about a studio acquiring the rights to a popular book series! Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has optioned John Twelve Hawks' 'Fourth Realm' trilogy. With 'Harry Potter' over and 'The Hunger Games' breaking box office records, you can bet that every science fiction and fantasy book series on the shelves is getting a new look from Hollywood.

The 'Fourth Realm' trilogy may not have the same clout as some of the other books being snatched up left and right, but it certainly sounds like it has cinematic potential. Here's the official description of the first book in the series, 'The Traveler':

"In London, Maya, a young woman trained to fight by her powerful father, uses the latest technology to elude detection when walking past the thousands of surveillance cameras that watch the city. In New York, a secret shadow organization uses a victim's own GPS to hunt him down and kill him. In Los Angeles, Gabriel, a motorcycle messenger with a haunted past, takes pains to live "off the grid," free of credit cards and government IDs. Welcome to the world of The Traveler, a world frighteningly like our own. In this compelling novel, Maya fights to save Gabriel, the only man who can stand against the forces that attempt to monitor and control society. From the back streets of Prague to the skyscrapers of Manhattan, The Traveler portrays an epic struggle between tyranny and freedom. Not since 1984 have readers witnessed a Big Brother so terrifying in its implications and in a story that so closely reflects our lives."

The Deadline article suggests that the studio is getting this one on the fast track and after reading that description you can see why. Dystopic science fiction featuring a female lead standing up against an evil government that controls the people with an iron fist? That's not an uncommon hook for a story, but it's certainly one that must look pretty tantalizing to Warner Bros. execs after those 'Hunger Games' numbers came in for Lionsgate. With their 'Harry Potter' cash cow officially depleted after eleven years and eight films, you can bet that priority number one is filling that gap. That's not to say that 'Fourth Realm' is the next big thing or that Maya is the next Katniss Everdeen, but can you blame anyone for hoping it might be? This minor announcement could be the seed of a new popular film franchise. On the other hand, it could be a footnote on the road to the next 'Eragon' or 'The Seeker: The Dark is Rising.' The movie business is a tricky beast, after all.

One of the most interesting things about the 'Fourth Realm' trilogy is its author. The name John Twelve Hawks is a pseudonym and his actual identity is unknown. He has never met with his editor and only communicates online or through an untraceable cell phone and lives "off the grid." Well, at least this series has one thing going for it: a sci-fi novel about an evil government with a long reach being written by a man paranoid enough to cut himself off from society is a sci-fi novel worth reading (and hopefully, a movie worth seeing). Not to mention, wondering how this guy will react as his work gets pushed through the Hollywood machine will be nothing if not fascinating. After the all, the only thing more crippling to the spirit than Big Brother is the Hollywood development process!