Reclusive author's sci-fi books land at Fox

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Fox has picked up rights to the best-selling sci-fi book series known as the Fourth Realm Trilogy, written by reclusive author John Twelve Hawks.

The script will be written by sci-fi/fantasy specialist Alex Tse, whose credits include “The Watchmen.”

The series, which kicked off in 2006 with “The Traveler,” explores the ideas of free will and public surveillance, secret societies and good vs. evil. Critics likened the works to Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” as well as to “The Matrix” and “Star Wars” movie franchises.

Helping to make the books a hit was the reclusive nature of the author. Hawks, not his real name, lives “off the grid,” according to the series’ publisher Random House, and neither his editor nor agent has ever met him. Hawks, seemingly intent on imitating some of his characters’ lifestyles, communicates only via a voice scrambler and untraceable satellite phone, and during the book tour he used stand-ins.

The film adaptation was at one point set up at Universal.