DreamWorks are in exclusive talks to acquire the rights to M.L. Stedman’s debut novel, The Light Between Oceans.

The studio, who have recently co-produced and -released Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, will set David Heyman (Harry Potter, the upcoming Paddington Bear) to produce the film.

Producing alongside Heyman will be Jeff Clifford, a long-standing special effects technician/supervisor, whose credits include Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, and Hellboy, and who will make his debut as a producer here. And Rosie Alison (Page Eight, The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas) will serve as executive producer, having first brought the novel to Heyman.

Here’s the original novel’s synopsis:

“On a remote Australian island in the years following WWI, a lighthouse keeper and his wife are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a two-month-old infant. When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences of their choice are devastating.”

Stedman’s novel was published last year, and has been translated into almost thirty languages across the globe, with a new edition already set for Spring 2013 here in the UK.

Heyman has recently served as producer on Alfonso Cuarón’s highly anticipated Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, and has a number of very promising films on his slate already, including the upcoming Paddington Bear film, set for release in November 2014.

The addition of The Light Between Oceans sounds like an excellent match for the producer, whose credits prove his successes in producing movies that do well amongst audiences and critics alike.

“M.L. Stedman has crafted a visually stunning and emotionally harrowing love story with a confounding moral dilemma at its center,” said Snider. “We were completely transfixed by the story and instantly imagined it as a sweeping, classic film. David Heyman is an ideal partner to bring Stedman’s story to the screen.”

Said Heyman: “I was deeply affected by M. L. Stedman’s powerful and primal story of human choices and their consequences. It’s a novel which tackles grand emotions, but everything is rooted within an intimate yet universal story of marital and parental love. I am excited to be working with such sympathetic partners in Stacey and the team at DreamWorks.”

Though I’ve not read Stedman’s novel, the synopsis certainly has a lot going for it, and DreamWorks is certainly a very nice home for the project to settle into, should the talks progress as expected.

Naturally, it’s still early days yet, so there’s no word on who might be penning the script or taking the helm, but the studio will no doubt want to progress with this one as soon as possible, to bank on the book’s current successes, so hopefully we’ll be hearing more from the project soon.


Source: via Deadline.