EXCLUSIVE: Voltage Pictures is in advanced negotiations to acquire Black Eyed Susans, a screenplay written by Rod Lurie and his wife, author Kyra Davis. Script is based on the bestselling Ballantine novel by Julia Heaberlin, and Lurie will direct it.

Ballantine

Pic will be a co-production between Voltage, and Lurie’s Battleplan Production banner. Marc Frydman, who has produced Lurie’s directing projects, will produce this one with Voltage’s Nic Chartier.

Black-Eyed Susans is a psychological thriller that explores both the slow march to the Texas death penalty and the heroic task of identifying the bones of the missing. The plot opens on a 16-year-old who has been found with a scattering of bones in a field of black-eyed Susans, barely alive, with no memory of how she got there. The book intersperses scenes of the traumatized girl and the woman she becomes when she fears she has helped put the wrong man on Death Row for the crimes.

Kyra Davis

Lurie wrote and directed The Contender and Straw Dogs, and created the TV series Commander in Chief. Davis wrote the bestselling novel Just One Night. Her next, Chaos, Desire & Kick-Ass Cupcake, will be published next month. Voltage’s latest pic, Wind River, just crossed $30 million in domestic box office gross.

“Companies like Voltage and financiers like Nic Chartier are few and far between,” Lurie told Deadline. “You look at the films they have made and the Oscars they have won and it’s clear that they are artistic visionaries.”

Lurie is represented by CAA and Peter Nelson. Heaberlin is represented by Dana Spector at Paradigm. Her next thriller, “Paper Ghosts,” is coming from Penguin Random House in April 2018.