Novel adaptations are generally a bit of an open-ended game – some come along in a hurry (50 Shades of Grey), while others can take decades to be translated onto the big screen (Ender’s Game). In the case of Dan KrokosThe Planet Thieves, the movie rights were sold before the book was even published – the young adult sci-fi novel won’t hit the shelves until next spring.

According to CinemaBlend (via Deadline), Warner Brothers has acquired the screen rights to the story, listing the description for The Planet Thieves as follows:

“The book focuses on a young space cadet who finds himself caught in the middle of Earth’s struggle to survive. His ship is attacked by an alien race bent on gaining control of a weapon they’re carrying on board.”

Hmmm. So currently, this is all we know about the book, making it hard to get much of an idea about the main character, or much of the plot, but there does seem to be a good element of adventure in it. Hostile aliens also makes it sound quite exciting.

But here’s the hook: the story was apparently pitched to the studio as “Harry Potter set in space.” – No wonder it sold so fast! Let’s ponder on that for a moment; Harry Potter set in space… it sounds mind-blowing. And given the success of J.K. Rowling’s fantasy novels and the hugely successful movies that followed in quick succession, it’s starting to make sense why the movie rights have already been sold.

At the moment, it may not be easy to connect the description mentioned above with the Harry Potter story, but we’re sure we’re going to be hearing more about this project as it develops.

The Planet Thieves isn’t set to be published until May 2013 (it’s not even on Amazon for pre-order yet), but Krokos does have a recently published novel called False Memory, so if you’re curious, check it out.

What do you think about The Planet Thieves so far?