'Compliance' helmer to direct; 'Gatsby' star will also produce

With his controversial drama “Compliance” opening Friday, helmer Craig Zobel has come on to direct “Z for Zachariah,” a post-apocalyptic drama that will star Tobey Maguire, who will also produce with his Material Pictures partner Matthew Plouffe.

Based on the novel by Robert C. O’Brien, Nissar Modi’s 2009 Black List script follows a teenage girl who lives alone and maintains a farm in the only valley with breathable air in the wake of nuclear war. Her world is turned upside down when two strangers wander in from the forest.

Maguire is attached to play a rugged scientist with a dark past who the young protag nurses back to health after he is weakened by a contaminated stream.

Material Pictures principals Maguire and Plouffe will produce with “Hunger Games” helmer Gary Ross and Steve Bannatyne of Lucky Hat Entertainment, while Palomar Pictures’ Joni Sighvatsson will also produce with Skuli Malmquist and Thor Sigurjonsson of ZikZak Filmworks.

CAA is putting together financing for the pic and is repping its domestic rights.

O’Brien’s novel was previously adapted by the BBC in 1984 as an episode of the TV series “Play for Today.”

Back in June 2011, Variety announced that Maguire and Ross would be producing Modi’s sci-fi action script “Outback” for GK Films. That Oz-set project remains in development, with Maguire’s “The Great Gatsby” co-star Carey Mulligan attached to topline.

Maguire recently wrapped Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of “Gatsby,” which Warner Bros. just pushed from Christmas Day to summer 2013. Thesp, who will soon be seen in The Weinstein Company’s long-delayed dark comedy “The Details,” is currently filming a key role in Jason Reitman’s “Labor Day.” He’s repped by WME and Management 360.

Zobel is a longtime collaborator of David Gordon Green who recently produced the helmer’s indie comedy “Prince Avalanche,” starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. He made his directorial debut with 2007′s “Great World of Sound” and followed that up with “Compliance,” which garnered strong reviews and passionate reactions at Sundance earlier this year. Magnolia Pictures will give the film a limited release on Friday.

CAA reps Modi and Zobel, who is also repped by Principato-Young Entertainment and attorney Robert D. Koch.

Modi is also repped by Energy Entertainment and attorney Sean Marks.

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