UA, StudioCanal team on ‘Wife’

Billy Ray to write, direct adaptation

United Artists has teamed with StudioCanal to turn Fritz Leiber’s 1952 novel “Conjure Wife” into a feature film. Billy Ray has been set to write the script and direct.

The novel is a supernatural thriller in which a man discovers that his recent career successes are the result of his wife’s dabbling in witchcraft.

MGM will distribute domestically, UA will co-finance and co-produce with StudioCanal. StudioCanal will distribute in Germany and the U.K. through its Kinowelt and Optimum Releasing companies. The two companies held underlying rights to the project through a 1962 film adaptation of the book titled “Burn, Witch, Burn.”

Ray last directed the espionage thriller “Breach” and made his directing debut on “Shattered Glass.” Ray also scripted “Motorcade,” a DreamWorks thriller about terrorists attacking the president’s motorcade in Los Angeles. Len Wiseman will direct

UA is prepping the Dec. 25 release of the Bryan Singer-directed “Valkyrie,” which premiered Monday in Gotham.

Ray’s repped by ICM and Management 360.

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