British scribe Jack Thorne is in early talks to script the movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” for Focus Features, Playtone and Shoebox Films.

Gaiman’s novel, due to be published in June, is told through a 7-year-old narrator and centers on  a lodger who steals a family’s car and commits suicide in it, unleashing ancient powers from beyond the world.

“The Ocean at the End of the Lane” was set up at the end of February with Joe Wright attached to direct after Focus acquired feature rights to a co-production between Wright’s Shoebox Films and Playtone. Shoebox partner Paul Webster is producing with Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman.

Thorne won BAFTA awards last year for best drama series for “The Fades” and best mini-series for “This Is England 88.” He also wrote the script for Tom Hooper’s 2009 feature “The Scouting Book for Boys.”

Thorne is repped by WME and by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates in the U.K.