Warner Bros. picks up cyberpunk Otherland

Warner Bros. has acquired the feature rights to Otherland, a popular sci-fi/cyberpunk tetralogy penned by Tad Williams.

According to Variety, Dan Lin is slated to produce the film, while John Scott III will write the screenplay based on four books published by DAW-Penguin USA: “City of Golden Shadow,” “River of Blue Fire,” “Mountain of Black Glass” and “Sea of Silver Light.”

Lin has already helmed a number of notable films, including “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows” and is in post-production with the period drama “Gangster Squad,” starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Sean Penn.

For his part, Scott is busy adapting Isaac Asimov’s “Caves of Steel” for Fox, and his zombie script “Maggie” – currently in pre-production – hit the top 10 of the 2011 Black List and was the top title of the 2011 Blood List.

Otherland is set on a dystopian Earth near the end of the 21st century where children are falling victim to the enigmatic Tandagore Syndrome.

Irene “Renie” Sulaweyo, a virtual engineering instructor, is forced to investigate the syndrome after her brother slips into what seems to be a permanent coma. She and a former tech student named !Xabbu quickly discover a link between the full-immersion virtual reality “Net” that has become commonplace and Tandagore.

In addition to an Otherland movie produced by Warner Bros, RealU and DTP Entertainment are in the midst of developing a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) based on the novels – which is scheduled to go live at some point this year.