Aneurin Barnard tapped for ‘Mariah Mundi’

$25 mil teen novel adaptation starts shooting this month

LONDON — Aneurin Barnard has been tapped for the eponymous leading role in ”Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box,” a $25 million adaption of G.P. Taylor’s teen adventure novel, which starts shooting April 30 in the UK.

The movie is being directed by Jonathan Newman (”Swinging with the Finkels”) from a script by Gavin Scott, Rob Sprackling and John Smith.

Set in Victorian England, it’s a fantastical story of a 17-year-old boy searching for his lost parents and kidnapped younger brother in a mysterious luxury hotel filled with shady villians, child-snatching creatures and a box which turns ordinary objects into gold.

Barnard, who won an Olivier Award in 2010 for his lead role in the London West End musical ”Spring Awakening,” most recently starred in the features ”Trap For Cinderella” and ”Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes.”

The supporting cast, which was previously announced, includes Michael Sheen, Lena Headey, Sam Neill, Keeley Hawes and Ioan Gruffudd.

Pic is being produced by Peter Bevan and Karl Richards of the UK’s Entertainment Motion Pictures in association with Ibon Cormenzana and Ignasi Estape of Spain’s Arcadia Motion Pictures. Six Sales is handling international sales.

”Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box,” published in 2007, is the first in a trilogy of novels, which the producers are hoping to develop as a movie franchise.

”GP Taylor’s book combines the best elements of an action adventure film with a strong emotional core and instantly iconic characters,” Newman said.

Shooting will take place in south-west England.