LONDON — Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Glenn Close are to star in “She Who Brings Gifts,” which Altitude Film Sales has boarded. Pic is adapted by M.R. Carey from his novel “The Girl With All the Gifts.”
Colm McCarthy, helmer of British TV shows including “Peaky Blinders,” “Sherlock,” “Doctor Who” and “The Tudors,” will direct the film, which is his first major feature.
Arterton, whose credits include “Tamara Drewe” and “The Disappearance of Alice Creed,” is starring in Marjane Satrapi’s “The Voices,” following her West End musical stage debut in “Made in Dagenham.” Considine was recently seen in BAFTA-winning British pic “Pride,” and is soon to be seen in “Macbeth” with Michael Fassbender. Close is soon to be seen in Tim Blake Nelson’s “Anesthesia” and Bjorn Runge’s “The Wife.” She just completed a starring run on Broadway in “A Delicate Balance.”
“The Girl With All the Gifts” is the story of Melanie, a girl who is full of questions about the world. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh. Melanie is a very special girl.
The film is due to shoot in the U.K. in May and is produced by Camille Gatin, co-producer of James Marsh’s “Shadow Dancer” and Ricky Gervais’ “Special Correspondents,” and Angus Lamont, producer of the Berlin Competition jury award-winning “’71,” directed by Yann Demange. The feature has been developed with the support of the BFI Film Fund.
Carey first came to prominence within the world of comic books, writing the “Lucifer” series at DC Vertigo, “Hellblazer” for DC, “X-Men,” “Fantastic Four” and adapting Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Shadow” for Marvel, among other titles. He also wrote “The Unwritten,” which has made the New York Times graphic novel bestseller list, and was awarded Comic Con’s Inkpot Award in 2012.
More recently, Carey has moved into prose fiction with thrillers such as “The Dead Sea Deception” (under the pseudonym of Adam Blake), fantasy novels “The City of Silk and Steel” and “The House of War and Witness,” and the Felix Castor novels.
“The Girl With All the Gifts” is his most recent novel, published in 2014 to critical acclaim and attracting many fans, including writer-director Joss Whedon, who proclaimed it to be “heartfelt, remorseless and painfully human…as fresh as it is terrifying. A jewel.”
The screenplay for “She Who Brings Gifts” appeared on the Brit List, which is a compendium of stellar scripts by non-U.S. writers, set up to complement the U.S. Black List. Scripts that have made the list include “The King’s Speech,” “My Week With Marilyn” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
Gatin said, “It’s hugely exciting to combine Mike Carey’s truly original script and Colm McCarthy’s dynamic yet sensitive style, with such a terrific cast.”
Lamont added, “Melanie’s story is a completely unique take on a much loved genre, seamlessly blending together a lonely child’s search for love and family with a terrifying journey where she controls the fate of the last adult humans on earth.”
Will Clarke, co-CEO and chairman of Altitude Film Entertainment, said, “’She Who Brings Gifts’ is a smart take on the sci-fi genre and with a humanity which will draw a young adult audience and those already aware of Mike Carey’s bestselling novel. With the great cast that has come on board we have a highly commercial film which can cut through to a broad audience.”
Altitude Film Sales has recently announced new projects it is representing internationally, including “Anthropoid,” to be directed by Sean Ellis, co-written by Ellis with Anthony Frewin, and starring Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy; and “Palio,” a documentary from Cosima Spender, and co-produced by James Gay-Rees and John Hunt.