EXCLUSIVE: Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea’s adaptation of Ruth Ware’s suspense novel In A Dark Dark Wood is kicking up a gear after finding a writer. The film, which is set up at New Line with fellow producers The Gotham Group, is being written by A Private War scribe Arash Amel.

Amel will adapt the New York Times best-selling mystery-thriller which centers on a reclusive writer who receives an invitation to a bachelorette party of her best friend from high school who she hasn’t seen in 10 years. Witherspoon and Papandrea are producing alongside Ellen Goldsmith-Vein (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials), Lindsay Williams (Maze Runner) and Shari Smiley who will produce for The Gotham Group. There are no plans at present for Witherspoon to star in this one.

Witherspoon and Papandrea ended their successful Pacific Standard collaboration in 2016 but they continue to produce the projects they had in development at the company, which Witherspoon maintains alongside her outfit Hello Sunshine. During their Pacific run the pair championed female-driven properties and movie adaptations of best-selling books such as Wild, for which Witherspoon scored a best actress Oscar nomination, and box office winner Gone Girl. More recently the duo hit it out of the park with HBO favourite Big Little Lies, which has been ordered for a second season.

Amel recently wrote the screenplay for anticipated Marie Colvin biopic A Private War, which is being directed by Cartel Land helmer Matthew Heineman and stars Rosamund Pike as the famed US war correspondent alongside Jamie Dornan and Stanley Tucci. The film is considered a strong contender for a summer or fall festival slot. Amel is a producer and writer on Sam Worthington sci-fi The Titan, which rolls out this year, and script Seducing Ingrid Bergman, which has Jessica Chastain attached.

Novelist Ware is similarly in-demand. The writer’s New York Times-bestseller The Lying Game is being turned into a television series for Entertainment One (eOne) and the growing Gotham Group while CBS Films has set up The Woman In Cabin 10.

Witherspoon is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson. Papandrea is repped by WME. Amel is repped by CAA, Grandview and Myman, Greenspan. Ware is repped The Gotham Group and Eve White Literary Agency in the U.K.