Morrell is best known for his book "First Blood," which spawned the "Rambo" film franchise.
Set in a Wyoming ranch town called Potter's Field, the book is about what happens when a virus is unleashed and spreads through the bites of infected people.
"Police chief Nathan Slaughter is thrown into a vortex tunnel of terror trying to unveil why animals become savage, children become insane and the entire town turns into a frenzy of violence," a synopsis said.
"Given its eerie subject, I look forward to the scares that aptly named Bloody Moon Films has in store for audiences," Morrell said in a statement.
"We are thankful for the opportunity to work with Mr. Morrell and his team on production of 'The Totem,'" said Bloody Moon Films co-founder Ben Dixon, the film's director. "I also have my father to thank as well. Several years ago my ailing dad handed me a copy of the book, saying it was a true horror novel and I had to read it. Time passed, but last August fate was staring me in the face. The book was sitting on a shelf by itself, and I grabbed it for a road trip and finished it in no time. Three months later, I had a 170-page draft in place."
Production and cast selection on the $3 million movie project is under way, with filming slated to begin in the spring.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]