Poor Christopher Golden. He apparently wrote a wicked novel about an alternate universe New York with magic and a sunken Manhattan society, but Hellboy-creator Mike Mignola gets all the credit when Hollywood comes knocking!

Joe Golem And The Drowning City is a supernatural illustrated novel that is the latest collaboration between author Christopher Golden and comic writer/artist Mike Mignola, which means Mignola drew a cover and some awesome artwork to pepper throughout an otherwise straightforward fantasy novel that was released in March.The two have been frequent collaborators since shortly after Hellboy began publishing, and Golden has even written three Hellboy prose novels along with he and Mignola’s many other collaborations. In this case, it seems like Mignola’s getting a lot more ink for the book than, you know, the guy who actually wrote the thousands of words… but I guess most outlets assume nerds need a familiar anchor. Hell, even I headlined it that way.

In any event, with his Paradise Lost project now good and collapsed, Ales Proyas has targeted the book as his next film, which he’ll shoot in Australia, according to Deadline. The book features quite the intense alternate world, so I’ll be interested to see how that will be achieved. There’s currently no major studio backing, and I doubt it will entail the kind of major blockbuster mo-cap effects Proyas was flirting with for Paradise Lost. Here’s the summary of what Proyas will be attempting to capture, with both writers executive producing. It sounds awesome.

In 1925, earthquakes and a rising sea level left Lower Manhattan submerged under more than thirty feet of water, so that its residents began to call it the Drowning City. Those unwilling to abandon their homes created a new life on streets turned to canals and in buildings whose first three stories were underwater. Fifty years have passed since then, and the Drowning City is full of scavengers and water rats, poor people trying to eke out an existence, and those too proud or stubborn to be defeated by circumstance.

Among them are fourteen-year-old Molly McHugh and her friend and employer, Felix Orlov. Once upon a time Orlov the Conjuror was a celebrated stage magician, but now he is an old man, a psychic medium, contacting the spirits of the departed for the grieving loved ones left behind. When a seance goes horribly wrong, Felix Orlov is abducted by strange men wearing gas masks and rubber suits, and Molly soon finds herself on the run.

Her flight will lead her into the company of a mysterious man, and his stalwart sidekick, Joe Golem, whose own past is a mystery to him, but who walks his own dreams as a man of stone and clay, brought to life for the sole purpose of hunting witches.