EXCLUSIVE: In what shapes up to be one of the hot titles in the upcoming Berlin sales market, Black Bear Pictures will finance and produce with Anonymous Content the Morten Tyldum-directed dramatic thriller The Marsh King’s Daughter. Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander has come attached to play the lead role. STXinternational has closed a deal to handle international territories at Berlin. Pic is an adaptation of the international bestseller by Karen Dionne that was published last summer by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
The scripted adaptation is by Elle Smith and The Revenant scribe Mark L. Smith. Vikander will play Helena Petterier, who on the surface leads an ideal life with a great husband and a young daughter. She keeps secret her shocking backstory: her mother was kidnapped as a teen, and she was the product of the relationship between captive and tormentor. She lives for 12 years in a life carefully controlled by her kidnapper/father, until he was caught and sent to prison. An escape that leaves two prison guards dead forces her to confront her secret history and she becomes determined to bring down her father, who gave her all the tools she will need. He is the one called the Marsh King, the man who kept a woman and her young daughter captive in the wilderness for years. Sensing the danger this monster poses for her husband and young daughter, she vows to hunt him down. Vikander will be next seen in action mode as she plays Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.
The film puts Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear back in business with Tyldum; Black Bear financed and produced The Imitation Game, which got eight Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Black Bear, whose most recent film is the Oscar-nominated Dee Rees-directed Mudbound, is producing with Anonymous Content, the company behind Spotlight and The Revenant. Schwarzman, Keith Redmon, Tyldum and Mark L. Smith are the producers. Bard Dorros of Anonymous Content and Vikander are the exec producers.
STX Entertainment division STXinternational is handling international distribution and will distribute in the UK and Ireland.
“The Marsh King’s Daughter is one of the most hypnotic thrillers you’ll ever experience, much in the vein of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl, and who better than Morten Tyldum to direct this psychologically gripping story into a complex yet riveting tale about captivity and redemption,” said David Kosse, President of STXinternational. “We are thrilled to introduce this exceptionally compelling project from such an esteemed team of filmmakers and talent to our international partners in Berlin.”
Vikander is repped by UTA, Tavistock Wood and Actors in Scandinavia. Tyldum is represented by WME, Anonymous Content, and Bloom Hergott. Elle Smith is repped by Rain Management; Mark L. Smith is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Syndicate Entertainment; both are also repped by attorney Mark Temple. Dionne is repped by Folio and WME.