It’s been almost two years since Cory Goodman (‘Priest’) and Jeremy Lott signed on to write the screenplay adaptation to the IDW graphic novel ‘Lore,’ but now it looks like the project has taken off as it is now involved in a multi-million bidding war among the studios.

According to THR, the sudden increased interest to get the project onto the big screen came after the announcement that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has agreed to star in the feature. Once it was known he was attached to the project, the bidding war began and reached into the 7 figure mark with Warner Bros. edging out Paramount and Sony for the rights.

The deal includes a progress to production clause meaning that there will be some stiff penalties to be paid if the film is not made. But the inclusion of Johnson in the lead role was enough to get the project moving along. Johnson is one of the few actors that have a mass appeal especially in the overseas market. For instance, although he starred in this year’s ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,’ the movie never did break through the $100million box office sales mark domestically but overseas it’s already amass over $215million.

It does help that Warner Bros. has already closed the deal for the underlying rights to the source material which happens to be the IDW book/graphic novel written by the Australian husband and wife team Ashley Wood (who illustrated the book/graphic novel) and T.P. Louise (writer).

The movie is being described as ‘Men in Black’ with mythical creatures and the studios hope that it can be developed into a franchise with Johnson in the lead. Here’s the description of the graphic novel series from the IDW site:

In times past, the world was full of mythical creatures, creatures long since banished and held at bay by the secret society of Shepherds. But when the generational line of Shepherds is broken, a reluctant hero finds her life threatened from every quarter. And the creatures are coming back…

In the graphic novels, the lead happens to be a female named Jennifer Bradley who must unravel the story of her father’s mysterious death before humankind is wiped out forever. Obviously Johnson doesn’t fit the description of the heroine in the book (ya think?) so it will be interesting to see the how Goodman and Lott handled this and how true they stayed to the original version.

The film will be produced by Andrew Lazar (who is also the producer of the now in limbo movie version of ‘Akira’), David Alpert (‘The Walking Dead’) and Rick Jacobs (‘Zombies vs. Robots). Miri Yoon, Ted Adams (‘Locke and Key’, ‘World War Robot’) and ‘Lore’ novelist Wood will be executive producing.

Although the film has yet to hire a director, the buzz is that there are several who are interested. ‘Lore’ will be the third comic-book-turned-movie film that The Rock will be involved in. He has already agreed to play Hercules in the screen adaptation of Steve Moore’s graphic novel ‘Hercules: The Thracian Wars’ and the title role in ‘Cuidad’ based on graphic novel from Joe and Anthony Russo. With ‘G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation’ coming out  in June, it looks like 2012 will be a very busy and lucrative year for Johnson!