The Lifeboat, a period drama being set up at Working Title Films and Focus Features, may bring together Golden Globe-nominated director Joe Wright and Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), according to Deadline. Hathaway has been attached to star in and produce the film – an adaptation of Charlotte Rogan’s novel – for some time, yet the project has been on the hunt for a director. With The Lifeboat‘s female lead and period setting, the project may be well within Wright’s wheelhouse, given his filmography that includes Pride & Prejudice (2005), Atonement (2007), and Anna Karenina (2012).
Set in 1914, The Lifeboat focuses on Grace Winter, a young newlywed-turned-widow recounting her harrowing tale as she stands trial for murder. Grace reflects and shares her story of surviving the sinking of the Empress, a transatlantic ship. Grace and her new husband find a lifeboat to safety but a moral crises develops as there are simply too many people in the boat itself, which begins a heated debate over who stays and who goes. Although set in a different period, on premise alone, the film can’t help but bring to mind Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 classic Lifeboat. William Broyles Jr. (Oscar-nominated screenwriter for Apollo 13) is writing the script and will serve as executive producer; Broyles Jr. also wrote the screenplay for the 2000 Tom Hanks vehicle Castaway. Aside from Hathaway, no other casting announcements have been made, nor has a target start date been set for principal photography.
Wright is currently in talks to direct The Lifeboat. His next feature film, however – Pan, a rebooted take on the Peter Pan saga starring Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, and Rooney Mara, is set to debut later this year. Aside from the trio of Keira Knightley-headlined period projects that Wright is best known for, the British filmmaker also directed the contemporary assassin tale Hanna (2011), which starred Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett, as well as the 2009 drama The Soloist, which starred Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.
Hathaway, who won an Academy Award for the 2012 musical Les Misérables, was last seen on screens in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Next, she will appear opposite Robert De Niro in the Nancy Meyers comedy The Intern and will co-star in next years’ Alice Through the Looking Glass, reprising her role as the White Queen from the Tim Burton’s 2010 live action update of Alice in Wonderland. The actress is also slated to appear in the monster movie Colossal, a film that may or may not happen, depending on recent lawsuits that have been filed.