EXCLUSIVE: Gina Prince-Bythewood will direct and Gugu Mbatha-Raw will star in An Untamed State, an adaptation of Roxane Gay‘s debut novel that the director will co-write with the author for Fox Searchlight. Michael De Luca will produce through his Michael De Luca Productions banner with Prince-Bythewood; Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel will be exec producers.

an untamed stateThe novel tells the powerful, unflinching story of a Haitian-American woman kidnapped for ransom in front of her husband and child. The novel explores the privilege that made her a target and the strength she must draw on to survive and reclaim her life. Prince-Bythewood is best known for directing Beyond the Lights, and The Secret Life of Bees, and with husband Reggie Rock she is exec producing the 10-hour event series Shots Fired for Fox, Imagine Television and Undisputed Cinema. Mbatha-Raw most recently starred in Concussion and Belle, and she teamed with Prince-Bythewood on Beyond the Lights.

Prince-Bythewood, Mbatha-Raw and De Luca are represented by CAA; Prince-Bythewood is lawyered by Nina Shaw and Gordon M. Bobb at Del, Shaw, Moonves; Mbatha-Raw is managed by Authentic Talent and Literary and also repped by UK-based Curtis Brown Group.

Sylvie Rabineau of RWSG, LMQ’s Maria Massie and attorney Lev Ginsburg rep the author, who previously wrote Bad Feminist.