Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist) is set to direct the adaptation of Karen Dionne’s novel The Marsh King’s Daughter. Daisy Ridley (Star Wars films) will star in the psychological thriller written by Elle Smith & Mark L. Smith (The Revenant, The Midnight Sky).
Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman (The Imitation Game, I Care a Lot), Anonymous Content’s Keith Redmon (The Revenant, The Midnight Sky) and Mark L. Smith will produce. Black Bear will finance.
STXinternational, a division of Eros STX Global Corporation, has secured international rights for the film, and will present the project to buyers at the upcoming European Film Market, as well as directly distribute the film in the UK, Ireland and India. CAA Media Finance is handling US rights.
Daisy Ridley will star as Helena, a woman living a seemingly ordinary life, but hiding a dark secret: her father is the infamous “Marsh King,” the man who kept her and her mother captive in the wilderness for years.
After a lifetime of trying to escape her past, Helena is forced to face her demons when her father unexpectedly escapes from prison.
The Marsh King’s Daughter is an international bestselling novel by author Karen Dionne. Published in 25 languages, the novel is described as “…as good as a thriller can be” by The New York Times.
Director, writer and producer Neil Burger is best known for directing Divergent, which grossed over $300 million worldwide, Limitless, and critically-acclaimed The Illusionist. He made his directorial feature debut with Interview with the Assassin, winning the Best Feature Film category at both the Woodstock Film Festival and Avignon Film Festival, and receiving nominations for three Independent Spirit Awards.
Burger’s most recent film, The Upside, grossed over $100 million in North America and was also Burger’s third number one opening in a row. On the TV side, Burger directed and executive produced the first two episodes of Billions for Showtime.
Daisy Ridley is best known for her breakthrough performance as Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker. Her credits also include Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express and Doug Liman’s upcoming sci-fi Chaos Walking, based on the bestselling book by Patrick Ness.
Principal photography is due to commence this summer.