Anne Hathaway has been attached to produce and star in the adaptation of Charlotte Rogan’s historical novel The Lifeboat for about two years now, but it looks as though the project might be taking a step closer to moving forward. As reported by Deadline, Joe Wright is currently in talks to direct the film from a script penned by William Broyles Jr. (Castaway, Jarhead).
Hathaway will lead as Grace Winter, a newlywed who’s widowed and put on trial for murder. Grace and her husband Henry were board an ocean liner that was crippled by a mysterious explosion. They survive the sinking of the Empress, but soon realize that the lifeboat they’re in is carrying too many people. In order to survive, some have to die.
Hopefully Wright winds up locking the gig because the premise certainly sounds like it’s got loads of big screen potential and there’s really no reason to think that Wright won’t make the most of it. Deadline doesn’t mention a timeline for The Lifeboat, but it doesn’t seem like Wright’s got anything official going on after Pan, so perhaps this could be next. Hathaway is attached to a few upcoming projects, like Colossal and The Burning Woman, but she’s also serving as a producer on The Lifeboat so there’s a chance that it could take precedence.
Here’s the synopsis for the book via Amazon:
Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.
In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying Grace and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize has exceeded capacity. For any to live, some must die.
As the castaways battle the elements and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met, and the new life of privilege she thought she’d found. Will she pay any price to keep it?
THE LIFEBOAT is a page-turning novel of hard choices and survival, narrated by a woman as unforgettable and complex as the events she describes.