Branded Pictures Entertainment has optioned Mira Grant’s mermaid thriller Rolling in the Deep and hired screenwriter Sean Hood (Conan the Barbarian, Halloween: Resurrection) to adapt the novel and Mary Lambert (Pet Sematary, TV’s "Blacklist") to direct the feature film.
The story revolves around Mira, an idealistic young filmmaker who sets out to the Mariana Trench with a small crew to film a faux documentary about mermaids. But the hoax soon turns all too real as sailors begin to disappear. By the time Mira realizes that they are under siege by no less than actual mermaids, her ship is already sinking. A terrifying fight to survive at any cost ensues, as it becomes clear that the darkest waters of the ocean are very good at keeping deadly secrets.
“Rolling in the Deep is a film led by complicated badass female characters,” Lambert said. “I've been waiting to make a film like this my entire career. Our mermaids are not cliché sugary cartoon princesses; they will take you down if you stand in their way.”
“We loved Mira’s book when we read it and immediately recognized its feature potential in a market hungry for frightening yet unique fare,” producer and BPE founder and president J. Todd Harris notes. “The combination of acclaimed filmmakers Mary Lambert and Sean Hood is the perfect pairing to realize the book’s potential.”
“The story has elements of The Shallows, 47 Meters Down, Dead Calm, and even Alien,” BPE vice president Marc Marcum, who discovered the book, said. “It is meant to be the definitive adaptation of the original mermaid myth that goes back to the dawn of civilization.”
The book performed well enough to spawn a sequel, Into the Drowning Deep, published in 2017. Given the sequel’s strong sales, the producers are hoping to launch a franchise.
The Bye Bye Man director Stacy Title is attached to executive produce and BPE director of development Thomas Pettinelli co-produces. Filmmakers are aiming for production in 2019.