Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan has been cast as the lead in Miramax's psychological thriller The 9th Life of Louis Drax. Alexandre Aja (Horns, The Hills Have Eyes) will direct.
The film, which will begin shooting in Vancouver in October, marks Miramax's return to the film production business. The once-busy label that spawned such indie hits as Shakespeare in Love and Good Will Hunting had concentrated its focus in recent years on its library assets. From its coffers, Miramax dusted off Liz Jensen's best-selling novel of the same name, which it first optioned in 2004 with plans for the film to be adapted and directed by the late Anthony Minghella.
Max Minghella, Anthony's son, wrote Louis Drax, which marks the actor's screenwriting debut. Minghella is producing alongside Antcolony Films' Tim Bricknell (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency), Brightlight Pictures' Shawn Williamson (50/50) and Aja. The film will be executive produced by Rosanne Korenberg (Half Nelson).
Zanne Devine, Miramax's executive vp of production and development, will oversee the project on behalf of the studio. Sierra/Affinity will serve as the international sales agent, introducing the title at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.
"Tim and I are thrilled this deeply personal project is being brought to fruition with passion and integrity," Minghella said. "We look forward to collaborating with Alex and Miramax to create a truly original movie that will captivate and surprise audiences."
Added Aja: "Max's script takes us on a very emotional journey through the deep recesses of the mind and on a suspenseful Hitchcockian ride. I was drawn to the poignant family drama and the supernatural elements, and am excited to bring this rich and complex story to life."
The story begins on Louis Drax's 9th birthday, when he suffers a near-fatal fall. In order to reveal the strange circumstances surrounding the young boy's accident -- Dr. Allan Pascal (Dornan) is drawn into a thrilling mystery, testing the boundaries of fantasy and reality.
"This spectacular psychological thriller will be a classic Miramax production," Miramax chairman Thomas J. Barrack Jr. said. "There is no better storyteller in the industry than Max Minghella and no more talented director than Alexandre Aja. Together, they will weave a unique and masterfully crafted script with the bold and powerful talent of Jamie Dornan and his accompanying cast."
The 9th Life of Louis Drax is a Canada/UK co-production.
Miramax Press Release
The news also reported by Variety, Deadline and The Wrap.