UK production company Material Entertainment has acquired the screen rights to John Drake's Flint & Silver as well as the book's two follow-ups.

The author makes his debut with the adult adventure novel, a prequel to Treasure Island. The story is about the rivalry between Flint and Silver before their confrontation on the Island.

Two other prequels, also covered in Material's deal, are also planned. Lucy Batcup negotiated for Material with Toby Moorcroft for Sayle Screen in conjunction with Drake's agent, Antony Topping for Greene & Heaton Ltd.

Material is already in talks with 'high profile writers' for the screenplay.

Harper Collins will publish Flint & Silver later this year.

Material, founded in 2005 as a joint venture between New Line and UK distributor Entertainment, had a hit with its first production, 2007 comedy Run, Fat Boy, Run starring Simon Pegg.

There has been no word from Material today how its business will be impacted by New Line's absorption into Warner Bros.

Robert Jones, president of Material, issued a statement about the potential new franchise: 'We are so excited by this project. John Drake has created complex, colourful and eminently castable heroes that at once weave seamlessly into Stevenson's classic and leap off the page in a thoroughly contemporary manner that has incredibly broad appeal.'

Susan Swift, head of literary acquisitions at Material, added: 'Flint & Silver is no ordinary historical action adventure. It is refreshingly witty, violent and sexy and, in Joe Flint and John Silver, introduces two gargantuan characters locked in a love-hate struggle that drives them to thrilling extremes.'