Before he was a hot shot TV guy, “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto made some small waves in the world of fiction, publishing his first novel, “Galveston,” in 2010. And for a while now, a feature film adaptation has been brewing, and a couple years backMatthias Schoenaerts was attached to star with Janus Metz (“Armadillo“) directing. Well, things change, and in this case, the high level of talent has perhaps been slightly improved.

Melanie Laurent, who is becoming increasingly more active behind the camera, is now set to direct the movie, with the double whammy of Elle Fanning and Ben Foster in the lead roles. Can’t really argue with that. With a screenplay penned by Pizzolatto, the movie will follow a debt-collector on the run from his boss who wants him dead, who finds more trouble after he rescues a young prostitute. Here’s the book synopsis:

On the same day that Roy Cady is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he senses that his boss, a dangerous loan-sharking bar-owner, wants him dead. Known “without affection” to members of the boss’s crew as “Big Country” on account of his long hair, beard, and cowboy boots, Roy is alert to the possibility that a routine assignment could be a deathtrap. Which it is. Yet what the would-be killers do to Roy Cady is not the same as what he does to them, which is to say that after a smoking spasm of violence, they are mostly dead and he is mostly alive.

Before Roy makes his getaway, he realizes there are two women in the apartment, one of them still breathing, and he sees something in her frightened, defiant eyes that causes a fateful decision. He takes her with him as he goes on the run from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas—an action as ill-advised as it is inescapable. The girl’s name is Rocky, and she is too young, too tough, too sexy—and far too much trouble. Roy, Rocky, and her sister hide in the battered seascape of Galveston’s country-western bars and fleabag hotels, a world of treacherous drifters, pickup trucks, and ashed-out hopes. Any chance that they will find safety there is soon lost. Rocky is a girl with quite a story to tell, one that will pursue and damage Roy for a very long time to come.

Sounds like it could be some good, pulpy fun but let’s hope Laurent balances out Pizzolatto’s tendency to overheat the elements. Filming on “Galveston” kicks off in January.