Tunnels is the planned film adaptation of the first installment of the Tunnels series, written by authors Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams. A release date has not yet been confirmed, and as of 2018 the project appears to be canceled.
Tunnels is a thrilling, subterranean fantasy adventure for all ages. Beneath the streets of London, two teenage boys discover an incredible, hidden underground world where a secret civilization has been desperately waiting for a hero to save them all. The deeper they go, the closer they get to unearthing an evil that could destroy the world above and put an end to the lives they once lived. Will they be able to save what they know as a life on the surface, or will they be stuck with a deadly adventure that they helped start?
Cast and CrewEdit
In 2015 Kodi Smit-McPhee was rumored to be playing Will Burrows, and Rory McCann was rumored to play Uncle Tam. However, these were not supported by any articles, and as of 2018 the Tunnels page on Wikipedia has no information on casting now.
Relativity Media announced they have signed Mikael Håfström (The Tomb, 1408) to direct a film based on the New York Times’ best-selling internationally-acclaimed fantasy adventure book series Tunnels.
The script by Andrew Lobel is based on the adapted screenplay originally written by Joel Bergvall & Simon Sandquist.
Tunnels is being produced by Mark Canton (300, Immortals), Neil Canton (Back to the Future) and Danny Davids alongside Relativity’s CEO Ryan Kavanaugh (The Fighter). Relativity’s President Tucker Tooley (The Fighter) will executive produce with Kelly Dennis (1408). Atmosphere’s David Hopwood will serve as co-producer.
The property was unearthed by Barry Cunningham, the man credited with discovering Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and whose boutique Chicken House imprint is part of Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and the U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter and The Hunger Games series.
- Cunningham said, “Only a few times in my life have I felt that rush of imagination in a story that I know is going to sweep up an audience in its grip, Tunnels made me believe in adventure, bravery and a new world.”
- Tooley said, “Andrew has written an incredible script and Mikael brings a creative and powerful vision to this project. The Tunnels novels have proven to be one of the most immensely exciting adventure series in recent years and we can’t wait to translate that excitement to the big screen.”
- “The originality of the book and its sequels, which uniquely combine the adventure of Indiana Jones with the magic of Narnia, along with its franchise potential, is what attracted Relativity, Neil, Danny and myself to Tunnels and I’m delighted to be producing it with them,” Mark Canton added. “Having just finished The Tomb with Mikael Hafstrom, I know first hand that he’s the perfect person to direct this epic fantasy, and Andrew Lobel’s script has captured every bit of the incredible world that Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams have created.”
- “Barry Cunningham clearly has a keen eye for spotting authors whose epic stories appeal to readers of all ages around the globe,” said Ellie Berger, President, Scholastic Trade. “Scholastic is proud to be the American publisher of the bestselling Tunnels series, and we look forward to seeing this underground and imaginative world expand through film.”
Fate of the Project Edit
Despite years of waiting no progress was made on the Tunnels film. In 2015 Relativity Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but eventually emerged from this the following year.
A 2016 interview with Roderick Gordon on his online blog revealed that Relativity failed to renew the contract for Tunnels. He claimed that after original director Vincenzo was replaced with Hafstrom (a choice that Gordon disagreed with), the director role became a "heavyweight" for "Relativity Mediocre." This implies that the creative differences scrapped the original plan for a Tunnels movie.
However, Gordon said: "Barry and I certainly haven’t given up yet. There’s still activity over in the US and the outcome might be better than a movie. Look, it’s at an early stage and there’s nothing in writing yet and I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up so I’m not going to say anything more at this stage." This implies that Tunnels could continue as a TV show or more books, but nothing is certain yet.