Timothy Spall, who won the Cannes Film Festival’s best actor award two years ago for Mr Turner, has been set to star in The Changeover, a supernatural thriller based on the bestselling YA novel by New Zealand author Margaret Mahy. Melanie Lynskey, Charlie Heaton and Lucy Lawless have also boarded the project, which will go before buyers at the upcoming Cannes market via Radiant Films International which is repping worldwide rights outside Australia and New Zealand.

The Changeover A Supernatural RomanceStuart McKenzie and Miranda Harcourt are directed the pic from McKenzie’s adaptation of prolific author Mahy’s 1984 novel The Changeover: A Supernatural Romance. It is a return to the otherworldy YA scene for Spall, who played Wormtail in the Harry Potter movies. New Zealand newcomers Erana James and Stefania LaVie Owen and Jamie Curry co-star.

Firefly Films’ Emma Slade is producing and the film is slated to begin principal photography in August in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The story centers on 16-year-old Laura Chant, who lives in a low-rent suburb on the edge of earthquake-scarred Christchurch with her mother and 4-year-old brother, Jacko. When an ancient spirit attacks Jacko and slowly drains the life out of him, Laura discovers her true identity and the supernatural ability within her, which she must harness to save her brother’s life.

“This is a story about finding your individual empowerment in a scary, thrilling, supernatural environment,” says Slade. “It’s a film in the vein of Twilight where very human characters firmly grounded in the real world have to discover their inner strengths to survive and save those they love.”

Radiant’s Cannes slate also includes the action thriller drama Juveniles starring Beau Knapp and Stephen Moyer; the romantic comedy Carrie Pilby starring Bel Powley; Rita Hayworth With A Hand Grenade starring Elizabeth Banks and Yosuke Kubozuka; and London Town starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Dougray Scott and Natasha McElhone.