EXCLUSIVE: A Country Of Strangers, the Sean Armstrong script that landed No. 2 on the new Black List, has been optioned by Christos V. Konstantakopoulos’ Faliro House Productions. The company behind Before Midnight and Take Shelter will develop a film based on true events. Written in the vein of Zodiac, A Country Of Strangers tells the story of detective Geoff Harper’s 40-year search for the Beaumont children, three siblings taken from an Australian beach in January 1966. The film will be directed by Anthony Maras, who won two Australian Academy Awards for his short film The Palace (check out that one below). Maras’ AntHouse Films will produce.

“When the Beaumont children vanished off a crowded beach all those years ago, Australia was changed forever,” Maras said. “The case remains Australia’s most enduring criminal mystery, and was the first in a wave of child abductions and serial killings that has terrified generations of Australians for more than 40 years.”

Verve packaged the project and reps Armstrong and Maras. Maras is managed by Kaplan/Perrone and Armstrong by Principato-Young. Konstantakopoulos produced Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight, which sold to Sony Pictures Classics after a smashing Sundance debut.

Here’s The Palace: