Gina Prince-Bythewood and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are teaming up a second time (after 2014’s “Beyond the Lights”), to tackle author Roxane Gay’s 2014 novel, “An Untamed State,” which tells the story of a woman kidnapped for ransom, which her rich father refuses to pay, while her husband fights to get her released, as she struggles to come to terms with the ordeal and its aftermath.
An official synopsis reads: Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.
Amazon reviews call “An Untamed State” a novel of “privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce.”
It was Gay’s debut novel.
Prince-Bythewood will co-adapt the novel to screenplay with the author.
The project is set up at Fox Searchlight, with Michael De Luca producing via his Michael De Luca Productions shingle, with Prince-Bythewood.
Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel will executive produce.
Prince-Bythewood is currently working on “Shots Fired” with hubby Reggie Rock Bythewood, for Fox TV – an event series starring Sanaa Lathan.
Meanwhile, Mbatha-Raw has “Free State of Jones” with Matthew McConaughey and “The Whole Truth” with Keanu Reeves later this year.