A novel being optioned by a film studio is the kind of news that breaks so often that it's almost stopped being news at this point. But a self-published science fiction series that became an internet sensation after finding a fanbase through Amazon's Kindle store being optioned by Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and screenwriter extraordinaire Steve Zaillian? That's some news right there.

Hugh Howey's 'Wool' began as a short story, published online. Enthusiastic reception led to a sequel. And then another. And another. Right now, the 'Wool' saga consists of six novellas and the series frequently tops Amazon's Science Fiction and Fantasy section. The story follows the survivors of some kind of world-altering cataclysm as they struggle to survive in underground silos deep under the surface of the Earth. It's a familiar science fiction concept (especially for anyone who has played 'Fallout 3') but the following that the series has garnered suggests that Howey has definitely latched onto something special. Here's the official, slightly more atmospheric and infinitely vague synopsis:

"This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside."

Naturally, a book being optioned doesn't always mean that the book will actually become a movie and it definitely doesn't mean that either of the Scotts will direct or Zaillian will write (both of their production companies chipped in for the rights, though). However, at the link above, Deadline aptly compares 'Wool' to 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' another self-published book series that became a hot commodity seemingly overnight.

'Wool' sounds like the kind of movie that may be up Ridley Scott's alley, particularly if his return to the genre with 'Prometheus' pays off. Has anyone out there read the 'Wool' series? What is its cinematic potential? Let us know in the comments below!

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