EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has teamed with Scott Free on an adaptation of the Susanna Jones novel The Earthquake Bird. Alicia Vikander and Riley Keough are finishing deals to star for Wash Westmoreland, who wrote the script and will direct. The Earthquake Bird is a Tokyo-set female-driven noir thriller that tells the story of young female expat who is suspected of murder after her friend goes missing in the wake of a tumultuous love triangle with a handsome local photographer. The project originally took root at Amazon Studios, but Netflix will make the picture and has set a May production start in Tokyo and Sado Island.
Scott Free’s Kevin Walsh and Michael Pruss will produce alongside Ann Ruark and Twenty First City’s Georgina Pope. Ridley Scott will be exec producer.
With the late Richard Glatzer, Westmoreland wrote and directed Still Alice, as well as Colette, a film Westmoreland unveiled at Sundance where Bleecker Street and 30WEST made a deal to distribute.
UTA, Actors in Scandinavia and Tavistock Wood rep Vikander, who’s currently starring in Tomb Raider and just came attached to a Morten Tyldum-directed adaptation of The Marsh King’s Daughter at Black Bear. Keough, who’s coming off Logan Lucky and is upcoming in Under the Silver Lake, is repped by WME and Thirty Three Management.
The Earthquake Bird won several awards including the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Crime Writers’ Association New Blood Dagger Award for newly published authors. Westmoreland seems a strong match for the material: he spent a year studying in Japan around the time the book is set there. He previously co-wrote and co-directed the Sundance winner Quinceañera.