LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Miramax has cast "Fifty Shades of Grey" actor Jamie Dornan in the psychological thriller "The Ninth Life of Louis Drax," with shooting set to commence in October in Vancouver.
Alexandre Aja ("Horns") will direct from a script by Max Minghella, making his feature screenwriting debut by adapting Liz Jensen's novel of the same title.
Minghella will also produce with Tim Bricknell ("The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency") of Antcolony Films, Shawn Williamson ("50/50") of Brightlight Pictures and Aja. The film will be exec produced by Rosanne Korenberg.
Zanne Devine will oversee the project on behalf of the studio. Sierra/Affinity will serve as the international sales agent.
"Tim and I are thrilled this deeply personal project is being brought to fruition with passion and integrity," said Minghella. "We look forward to collaborating with Alex and Miramax to create a truly original movie that will captivate and surprise audiences."
Minghella's father Anthony Minghella had been developing a "Louis Drax" movie prior to his death in 2008. He had picked up rights in 2004 with an eye to direct from his own adaptation.
The story is focused on the titular character who suffers a near-fatal fall on his 9th birthday. Dornan will portray a doctor caring for the boy who is drawn into a mystery, testing the boundaries of fantasy and reality.
Miramax has been ramping up production. In December, it signed a 20-year deal with Harvey and Bob Weinstein for co-production and co-distribution of movies, TV and stage for titles in the Miramax library; it brought on Devine early last year to lead content acquisition, production and development for Miramax, overseeing both film and television.
Miramax's "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" was recently renewed for a second season by El Rey Network. Miramax, together with Sony's Screen Gems, will release Jeremy Garelick's film "The Wedding Ringer," starring Kevin Hart, Josh Gad and Kaley Cuoco, on Jan. 16.