Tomas Alfredson Signs On To Direct An Adaptation Of Philip Reeves' Period Children's Fantasy Novel 'Larklight'

Director Tomas Alfredsson made a name for himself with his 2006 vampire story “Let The Right One In” and is currently following that up with his English language debut in the exciting form of the Cold War-set espionage thriller “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” starring Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy and Mark Strong.

The director, though, is definitely keeping an eye on the future, signing on to helm an adaptation of Philip Reeve’s 2006 sci-fi Victorian era fantasy children’s novel, “Larklight.” It’s an interesting choice for Alfredson, whose sensibilities would probably suggest a more mature line of work, but having turned heads with his story between an eternally youthful vampire and a 12 year old boy, we’re interested to see where he could take this.

“Larklight” centers on a brother and sister team residing in an alternate universe, where mankind has been exploring space since the time of Isaac Newton, who must band with a renegade space pirate to stop a madman from destroying the world. “Eastern Promises” scribe Steve Knight is currently adapting the novel for the screen with the project being produced Di Novi Pictures’s Denise Di Novi and Alison Greenspan for Warner Bros.

Here’s an extended synopsis of the novel, courtesy of Amazon.

Arthur (Art) and Myrtle Mumby’s space-fantasy adventure begins at Larklight, an ancient structure that orbits Earth. Attacked one day in 1851 by spiderlike creatures, they escape, only to be marooned on the moon, where they are captured by a moth and encased in jars containing voracious larvae. Freed by a band of extraterrestrial pirates led by young human Jack Havock, they fall into many wild adventures and encounter a mad scientist helping the spider creatures destroy life in the solar system. Robots, aliens, famous explorers, and hoverhogs also play a role in this rollicking heroic romp, which resonates with Victorian England’s mores. Reflecting Victorian custom, chapter subheads are long and descriptive, with Wyatt’s amazingly detailed illustrations furthering the effect. Both the story line and the language demonstrate Reeve’s respect for his readership. Kids can look forward to more adventures, though narrator Arthur is off to “have a nice buttered muffin and a cup of tea” first.

No word yet on how far down the pipeline the project is with regards to development, but we presume it looms as a contender to be Alfredson’s next. The director was also, of course, attached to direct the gender bending tale of the first sex-change operation patient in “The Danish Girl” starring Nicole Kidman but was eventually replaced by Lasse Hallstrom.