EXCLUSIVE: Good Universe has acquired screen rights to Katie Khan’s science fiction novel Hold Back The Stars, and attached Lee Toland Krieger to direct it. 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen will produce, and Good Universe’s Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake and Erin Westerman will be executive producers.

Set in the near future and spanning two separate timelines, Khan’s novel is a romance that follows the story of a couple falling for each other on earth, juxtaposed against the story of them fighting for their lives in space while running out of oxygen. As the storylines play out, the mystery as to why they’ve gone into space becomes clearer. The novel was published by Simon & Schuster in the U.S. and by Transworld in the UK, and in 20 other countries.

Krieger’s feature credits include Age of Adaline, Celeste & Jesse Forever, and The Vicious King. He directed the pilot for Life Sentence, his fourth consecutive pilot that has picked up to series. Krieger just completed shooting the pilot You, starring Penn Badgley for Berlanti Productions and Alloy Entertainment.

21 Laps is in post on Stranger Things 2 for Netflix, The Darkest Minds at Fox and Kin at Lionsgate, with Netflix acquiring their Ed Harris/Jason Sudeikis drama Kodachrome at Toronto, the festival where Good Universe premiered the James Franco-directed The Disaster Artist. A24 will release that film December 1.

WME and Ziffren Brittenham represent 21 Laps. UTA, Anonymous and attorney George Davis represent Krieger. UTA and Caskie Mushens Ltd represent Khan. Dan Freedman of Good Universe negotiated deals on behalf of producers.