Ron Howard To Direct 'The Girl Before' Thriller Adaptation At Universal

In just under a couple weeks, we'll see what director Ron Howard can do when he puts Chris Hemsworth out to sea to wage war with Moby Dick in the period drama In the Heart of the Sea. The film was pushed back from an initial March release, so the movie has been done for awhile. Now Howard is ready to get back to work at Universal with a new thriller called The Girl Before, which stirred up a bit of an auction among the studios before Thanksgiving.

Find out more about The Girl Before below!

Deadline has word on Howard being attached to the thriller that he will also produce with his Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer, their producer Erica Huggins and also Michael De Luca. The project will be adapted from the book of the same name by author J.P. Delaney, though that won't be published until the fall of 2016 by Ballantine Bantam Dell Random House.

However, it is believed that The Girl Before was actually written by bestselling author Tony Strong under a pseudonym, though the motivation for this decision isn't clear. But if Strong really did write the book as rumors suggest, then that may have been part of the reason studios were in a frenzy to pick it up. What's the story about? Here's how it's described:

A traumatized woman falls in love with an extraordinary minimalist house and with the man who designed it. But when she discovers that three years earlier another damaged woman died here, she starts to wonder if her own story is just a re-run of the girl before.

Sounds like it has some flares of Dream House starring Daniel Craig, but hopefully this script is better than that predictable horror thriller. I'm just wondering why there's been a run on thrillers with the word "girl" in the title in the past couple years. There was David Fincher's Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train is on the way from DreamWorks, and now The Girl Before. Perhaps these titles are getting more attention due to the increased presence of successful female leads at the box office.

Anyway, it's not clear when Howard would direct The Girl Before since it just got picked up by Universal, but the director already has his next film on the way. While In the Heart of the Sea has been sitting around waiting to be released, Howard directed Inferno, an adaptation of Dan Brown's novel of the same name with Tom Hanks returning as Robert Langdon from The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. The sequel is slated to arrive on October 14th, 2016.

Stay tuned for more on both of Ron Howard's future project as information becomes available.