EXCLUSIVE: Fox Searchlight is teaming with Joe Wright’s banner Shoebox Films to develop The Ruins, a supernatural thriller set in India. Jon Croker is writing the project, which is still in its early stages. It is being developed with a view to becoming a potential directing vehicle for Wright, although that decision is still some way off. Shoebox principals Wright, Paul Webster and Guy Heeley are overseeing the project. Other details are being kept under wraps for a project already shaping up as one of the more intriguing coming out of the UK given the pedigree of those involved.
Croker, a former story editor, has been on a fast-track to much-in-demand writer status ever since he had the screenplays for both The Woman In Black 2: The Angel Of Death and Freida Pinto-starrer Desert Dancer produced in 2014. He also received a credit for additional material on StudioCanal’s global hit Paddington. Croker is also penning The Abominable Snowman for Hammer Films.
As revealed exclusively by Deadline, Croker is also adapting Enid Blyton’s classic tale of derring-do The Famous Five for UK production powerhouse Working Title. Blyton, akin to the JK Rowling of her day, is one of the biggest-selling children’s authors in history with global sales of over 600 million books. The Famous Five, with more than 20 novels following the adventures of a group of four young children and their dog Timmy, is arguably her most iconic collection of books. It was estimated in 2012 that a Blyton book is sold in the UK every minute.
Wright is set to direct an episode of Netflix’s keenly anticipated new season of Charlie Brooker’s anthology series Black Mirror with Bryce Dallas Howard and Alice Eve on board to star. Created and written by Brooker, Black Mirror taps into our collective unease with the modern world and each stand-alone episode is a suspenseful tale exploring themes of contemporary techno-paranoia.
He is attached to a number of high-profile projects, including The Lifeboat with Anne Hathaway attached to star in the adaptation of Charlotte Rogan’s book. Hathaway is also producing alongside Working Title, Film 360 and Focus Features.
Wright is repped by CAA. Croker is repped by Independent Talent Group and WME.
Fox Searchlight has been ramping up its UK production activity under its UK director of production and acquisitions Katie Goodson-Thomas. The company has boarded the likes of Roger Michell’s My Cousin Rachel, the feature adaptation of classic Brit TV series Absolutely Fabulous and Martin McDonagh’s new film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in recent months.