×

Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘Little Stranger’ Lands at Focus

Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to the ghost story “The Little Stranger,” starring Domhnall Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Ruth Wilson and Will Poulter with Lenny Abrahamson directing.

Focus, which announced the deal Tuesday at the Cannes Film Festival, said production will begin in the U.K. this summer for a 2018 release. Pathe will handle distribution in the U.K., France and Switzerland.

Abrahamson, who received an Academy Award nomination for “Room,” will direct from a script by Lucinda Coxon, who wrote the screenplay adaptation of Focus’ “The Danish Girl.” Coxon has adapted “The Little Stranger” from Sarah Waters’ 2009 novel of the same name.

The story is set in a remote English village after the close of World War II, when Gleeson’s local practitioner is called to the aged estate of Hundreds Hall to tend to an unwell parlor maid. The resident is also home to Rampling’s glamorous widow and her two grown children, played by Wilson and Poulter — a badly disfigured veteran of the war.  The family welcomes Gleeson’s character and he’s drawn into the mystery of the Hall’s apparent haunting by a malevolent ghost, which ratchets up in intensity as he becomes more involved with the family.

“The Little Stranger” is a Focus Features, Pathé, and Film4 presentation in association with Ingenious Media and the Irish Film Board of a Potboiler production in association with Element Pictures. The producers are Gail Egan, Andrea Calderwood (“The Last King of Scotland”) and Ed Guiney (“Room”).

Executive producers are Pathé’s Cameron McCracken, Film4’s Daniel Battsek, Irish Film Board’s Celine Haddad, Ingenious’ Tim O’Shea, and Element’s Andrew Lowe. The film was developed by Potboiler and Film4 with Element Films.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Lenny, a filmmaker who has proven to redefine every genre he takes on,” said Focus chairman Peter Kujawski. “We are excited to be partnering once again with our good friends at Pathé and Film4 on The Little Stranger, a classic ghost story to chill moviegoers.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Matthew Modine

    Matthew Modine Accused of Violating Labor Laws With Campaign Videos

    Matthew Modine has been accused by SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris of violating federal laws in his campaign to unseat Carteris. The production of three campaign videos for Modine by the for-profit New York Film Academy — on whose board Modine sits — has been blasted by Carteris for alleged violations of federal labor law prohibiting [...]

  • Ready or Not Movie

    'Ready or Not,' 'Angel Has Fallen' Enter Box Office Race

    Three more contenders are joining what has lately been a hostile box office arena. Can anyone emerge from August victorious? Fox Searchlight’s “Ready or Not,” a black comedy about a diabolical game of hide-and-seek, will debut in 2,244 North American theaters on Wednesday. The low-budget film is expected to earn upwards of $6.5 million over [...]

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

  • Adam Brody'Ready or Not' film premiere,

    Adam Brody to Executive Produce, Star in 'The Kid Detective'

    “Ready or Not’s” Adam Brody has signed on to star in “The Kid Detective.” Sophie Nelisse will co-star in the dramedy from writer-director Evan Morgan. Brody will star as a once-celebrated kid detective, now 31, who continues to solve the same trivial mysteries between hangovers and bouts of self-pity until a 16-year-old client (Nelisse) brings [...]

  • Alita: Battle Angel VFX

    How Previsualization Helps Create Pitches for Projects Like 'Alita: Battle Angel'

    Filmmakers are increasingly using previsualization, a now-standard technique for planning highly technical shots and sequences, as a tool for pitching a project to production companies, investors and studio executives — before a single full scene has actually been shot. More creatives are relying on the technique, dubbed “pitchvis,” to fashion a compelling and engaging presentation [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content