The project has been in the works since 2011, when Summit Entertainment acquired feature rights to Erin Morgenstern’s novel of the same name. The story centers on two young illusionists who continue their fathers’ age-old rivalry amid an enchanted circus, bound by a fated love and destined to affect the lives of all around them. The novel is set in Victorian London in a magical circus that is only open from sunset to sunrise.
Annie Baker has written the most recent draft, based on Morgenstern’s New York Times bestseller. Previous drafts were penned by Moira Buffini and Patrick Ness. Meredith Wieck and Brady Fujikawa will oversee the pic for Lionsgate.
Lionsgate bought Summit in 2012. Heyman, whose credits include “Gravity” and Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” is producing with Jeffrey Clifford under Heyman’s Heyday Films. Former Lionsgate marketing topper Tim Palen is also producing under his Barnyard Projects banner. Richard Pine will executive produce.
Jasper’s “Patti Cake$,” starring Danielle Macdonald, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Fox Searchlight paid $9.5 million for distribution rights, then saw the film gross only $1.5 million in North America. Jasper is repped by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.