Tomas Alfredson Will Direct ‘Larklight’

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Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson is now in production on his first English-language film, an adaptation of John Le Carre’s novel Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy. Now he’s got a follow-up set: Mr. Alfredson has signed to direct Larklight for Warner Bros., based on the book by Philip Reeve, which is the first installment of a possibly franchise-ready trilogy.

THR reports that Denise Di Novi is producing for her company, Di Novi Pictures, with Steve Knight (Eastern Promises) rewriting the current script draft.

The book is a young-adult novel set in an alternate world where humans made their way into space during the Victorian era. So, as steampunk has gained ground in fan circles, this might become one of the first high-profile studio films to take advantage of the current of interest. I’m not sure the hardcore would call Larklight steampunk, but it’s certainly close enough for Hollywood.

Is Alfredson right for the material? Frankly, I have no idea. It could be a venue for some wildly imaginative scenes, and if Di Novi and Warner Bros. are going to hand the film off to a relatively director on the studio scene, Alfredson is a very interesting choice. He’s not a young director, having quite a few years of work behind him in Sweden, and is certainly not coming from the flashier school of filmmaking. He might put together a really smart film for kids and teens. That said, I’d rather see him make more films like Let the Right One In and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. (Albeit without having seen the in-production latter film, obviously.)

And will this be shot in 3D?

Here’s the novel’s synopsis:

Art Mumby and his sister, Myrtle, proud citizens of the British Empire, which in 1851 includes extraterrestrial territories, live with their father in Larklight, a rambling house that just happens to be traveling through outer space. The arrival of elephant-sized white spiders sets in motion an adventure that takes the quibbling siblings across the universe to battle the forces of evil. The spiders, the First Ones, want the key to Larklight in order to destroy the Empire and rule again. Art and Myrtle, thinking their father dead in the spiders’ webs, escape their home, only to be rescued by the notorious space pirate Jack Havock. His ship sails the lunar sea with its crew, including Ssilissa, a human-sized blue lizard, and a gigantic land crab named Nipper.

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