Focus Features has picked up worldwide rights to Lenny Abrahamson’s The Little Stranger, excluding the UK, France and Switzerland, where it will be distributed by Pathé. The chilling ghost story, which will begin production in the UK this summer with a planned 2018 release, stars Charlotte Rampling, Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson and Will Poulter.

Lenny Abrahamson
REX/Shutterstock

Abrahamson, who directed the 2015 Oscar-nominated pic Room, will direct. Lucinda Coxton, who wrote the screenplay adaptation for Focus’ The Danish Girl, adapts from Sarah Waters’ 2009 novel of the same name.

Story takes place in post-WWII Britain, where a doctor (Gleeson) revisits a crumbling great house called Hundreds Halls where his mother once worked as a nurse maid. The owners are losing the house because they can’t afford the taxes, even though they say the home is haunted by the malevolent ghost of their mother’s first-born daughter. The doctor becomes obsessed with marrying one of the owner’s daughters (Wilson), and bad things happen.

Producers are Gail Egan, Andrea Calderwood and Ed Guiney. Exec producers are Pathe’s Cameron McCracken, Film4’s Daniel Battsek, Irish Film Board’s Celine Haddad, Ingenious’ Tim O’Shea and Element’s Andrew Lowe. The film was developed by Potboiler and Film4 with Element Films.

It’s a Focus Features, Pathe and Film4 presentation in association with Ingenious Media and the Irish Film Board of a Potboiler production in association with Element Pictures.