Directing news! Deadline reports that Derek Cianfrance will direct the adaptation of M. L. Stedman’s “The Light Between the Oceans.” DreamWorks bought the rights to the best-selling novel.
The novel focuses on a lighthouse keeper and his wife in post World War I Australia, who find a baby and a dead man in a boat that washes up onto their island. They decide to raise the baby as their own, something which has far-reaching consequences, as is often the case in books and movies where a childless couple take in an orphan. If the kid isn’t the devil, it’s a win. I was at an event a few weeks ago where I had to choose a book to read and this was one of the selections. I’ve got to say, I hated it. I felt like it hit every note of middle-brow, upper-class women’s book club lit. So boring, every note so expected. Then again, I only got about 80 pages into it, so I didn’t find out about the problems wrought by the baby. Maybe if I’d gotten to that part, I would have liked it better. I don’t think I could have gone on another page, though.
DreamWorks head Stacey Snider said: “We certainly believe [Cianfrance] can make a modern epic from M.L.’s poignant novel and will be able to capture the great epic sweep and emotional honestly of this story.” Cianfrance also has one of the best names in Hollywood.
This is a jump up in budget for Cianfrance, who so far has been known as an indie director. He’s best known for bringing us the ultra-depressing chamber love-falling-apart story “Blue Valentine” and the more action-oriented (yet still depressing) “The Place Beyond the Pines.” Both of those movies starred Ryan Gosling. Is DreamWorks hoping Cianfrance can reel in Gosling for “Oceans?” That would be the DreamWork dream, wouldn’t it? Did I just start a casting rumor? God, I hope so.