LA-based development and production outfit Pacifica Film Development, which is backed by German film fund IMF, has acquired the film rights to the soon-to-be-published novel The Holy Road, the sequel to Dances With Wolves written by original author Michael Blake who will also write the screenplay adaptation.

To be published on Sept 15 in the US by Villard, a division of Random House, The Holy Road takes up the story of Dances With Wolves aka Lt John Dunbar ten years after the first story. Now a renowned tribal warrior, Dances With Wolves goes on a mission to rescue his wife and youngest child when they are abducted by murderous white invaders.

Under IMF's arrangement with Intermedia, Intermedia hs an exclusive first look at The Holy Road when the project is fully packaged. It was Intermedia's Guy East who financed and handled international sales on the original when he was in charge of Majestic Films & Television and the film is now in Intermedia's library. Starring and directed by Kevin Costner, it went on to gross $184m domestically through Orion Pictures and over $240m in international territories. It won seven Oscars in 1990 including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Blake.

Producer on the film will be Barry Spikings who was at the helm of Orion when Dances With Wolves was released. His credits as producer include Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter (1978), Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976) and John Boorman's Beyond Rangoon (1995). Blake will act as executive producer.

The acquisition was negotiated by Pacifica co-president Linda Benjamin and attorney Mark Temple acting for Blake. Morton L Janklow of New York-based literary agency Janklow Nesbitt represents publishing rights for The Holy Road.