‘Venom’ screenwriter Kelly Marcel to make directorial debut with adaptation of Claire McFall’s ‘Ferryman’

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Kelly Marcel

BAFTA nominee Kelly Marcel, who has penned the scripts for films like “Venom,” “Saving Mr. Banks” and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” is moving into directing.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Legendary Entertainment has closed a deal with Marcel to adapt, direct and produce Claire McFall’s novel “Ferryman,” the first book in McFall’s award-winning young adult trilogy.

“Ferryman” was originally published in the United Kingdom by Templar in 2013 and won the Scottish Teen Book Award, was long-listed for the Branford Boase Award and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal. It is a modern retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Charon, the ferryman of Hades who transports souls to the underworld. “Ferryman” follows a young girl named Dylan as she emerges from the debris of a train crash on an empty Scottish landscape. Believing herself to be the only survivor, she learns instead that she is the only fatality – and is trapped in a dangerous limbo. She meets an enigmatic boy named Tristan, her “ferryman,” sent to guide her through the wasteland and into the afterlife, but they fall in love, with dangerous consequences.

Claire McFall

The book trilogy has a mighty global following. The Chinese edition of “Ferryman” was published in June 2015 and became a national sensation; within months, it had already received about 90,000 reviews on Dangdang, one of China’s biggest online retailers, and entered the Top 10 fiction charts and stayed there two years. It was the top selling e-book in China in 2016 and fourth across all formats there, selling more than 1 million copies.

The second book in the trilogy, “Trespassers,” was published in September 2017 and quickly became a bestseller. The final book is due to be published in spring.

Along with prepping for her directorial debut, Marcel is executive producing and writing the “Venom” sequel, with Tom Hardy set to reprise the anti-hero title role. She also is penning the screenplay for Disney’s live-action film “Cruella,” which as previously reported, is slated to star Emma Stone as the “101 Dalmatians” baddie.

-BAM

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