October 3, 2012, 4:57 PM

Amazon hopes to horrify movie fans

The e-retailer’s movie arm options a scary novel from the publishing side.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Amazon.com Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos has a long way to go before anyone confuses him with a big-shot Hollywood producer—perhaps a well-publicized temper tantrum at Cannes would help—but his company said today it would turn “a spine-tingling Southern gothic suspense tale” into a movie.

The source material is the horror novel “Seed.” Published in July by Amazon’s 47North fantasy, science fiction and horror imprint, the book from Ania Ahlborn has been optioned by Amazon Studios, the retailer’s content development division. (The book was self-published in 2011. The version published by Amazon includes 6,000 extra words and restructured plot, the e-retailer says.) This marks the first novel optioned by Amazon Studios for a possible movie.

“Our primary objective at Amazon Studios is to develop great, commercial projects that our customers love,” says Roy Price, director, Amazon Studios. “‘Seed’ has been a top seller for Amazon Publishing’s 47North so we already have a sense of the mainstream attraction of the story and are excited to keep the project in-house for movie development.”

Amazon gave no details about its timetable for turning the book into a movie, what kind of release it might have or if the author will have a chance to craft the screenplay. The e-retailer’s statement, however, did note that Ahlborn’s next book is due out Nov. 27.

Amazon said that since it launched Amazon Studios about a year ago, writers have submitted more than 10,000 movie and TV scripts, of which fewer than 30 have advanced to development.

Amazon is the No. 1 e-retailer in the Internet Retailer Top 500.

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