Lionsgate has acquired rights to Down A Dark Hall based on the 1974 YA bestseller from Lois Duncan (I Know What You Did Last Summer) with Rodrigo Cortés attached to direct. Screenwriter Michael Goldbach wrote the original adaptation for the screen, and Chris Sparling (Sea of Trees, Buried) has come aboard to also write on the film. Twilight author Stephenie Meyer and Meghan Hibbett will produce via their Fickle Fish Films along with Temple Hill Entertainment’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen. Meyer optioned the book last year and brought on Goldbach to write the adaptation.
The supernatural suspense novel follows Kit Gordy, the newest student at the exclusive Blackwood Boarding School. It is the opportunity of a lifetime, but Kit quickly realizes something strange is happening behind its walls as she confronts the darkly seductive powers of Blackwood’s headmistress and comes face to face with the supernatural powers that could make her great or destroy her.
Fickle Fish Films recently produced The Host, an adaptation of Meyer’s novel starring Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Jake Abel, Max Irons and William Hurt, directed by Andrew Niccol, which released March 2013 from Open Road Films as well as the film adaptation of the NY Times best-selling author Shannon Hale’s Austenland, directed by Jerusha Hess and starring Keri Russell, Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge, JJ Feild and Jane Seymour. Meyer previously produced both parts of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn which were distributed by Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label. The five films of The Twilight Saga grossed more than $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office.
Temple Hill Entertainment most recently produced Fox’s mega box office hit The Fault In Our Stars, starring Shailene Woodley and based on the John Green bestseller. Temple Hill also produced the Twilight Saga film series. Other credits include Dear John, Safe Haven, Everything Must Go and The Nativity Story.
Erik Feig, Co-President of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, Gillian Bohrer, Lionsgate’s EVP of Production & Development, and James Myers, Creative Executive at Lionsgate, are overseeing the project on behalf of the studio. Robert Melnik, Lionsgate’s Executive Vice President of Business Affairs, negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio.
Fickle Fish, Temple Hill, Sparling, Goldbach and Cortés are represented by UTA. The book was represented by Jody Hotchkiss & Associates.