“Concussion” star Gugu Mbatha-Raw will star in kidnapping drama “An Untamed State,” with Gina Prince-Bythewood set to direct for Fox Searchlight.
Michael De Luca, whose credits include “The Social Network” and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” will produce through his De Luca Productions banner with Prince-Bythewood. Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel will exec produce.
The story is an adaptation of Roxane Gay’s debut novel, published in 2014. Prince-Bythewood and Gay will co-write the adaptation of the story of a Haitian American woman kidnapped in Haiti for ransom in front of her husband and child; her captivity as her father refuses to pay; and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath.
Prince-Bythewood and Mbatha-Raw teamed on “Beyond the Lights.” Mbatha-Raw also starred in “Belle.”
Prince-Bythewood is currently exec producing the 10-hour series “Shots Fired” with husband Reggie Rock Bythewood for Fox, Imagine Television and Undisputed Cinema.
Gay also wrote the bestseller “Bad Feminist.”
Prince-Bythewood, Mbatha-Raw and DeLuca are represented by CAA. Prince-Bythewood is also represented by attorneys Nina Shaw and Gordon M. Bobb at Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano; Mbatha-Raw by Authentic Talent and Literary and the U.K.’s Curtis Brown Group; and De Luca by Harold Brown and Tara Kole at Gang, Tyre, Ramer and Brown.
The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
About the book: An Untamed State
Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.
An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed State establishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent.