The Greatest Showman director Michael Gracey has signed on to helm Paramount Pictures’ upcoming musical screen adaptation of the bestselling novel Nevermoor. The filmmaker will also create original music for the feature, Deadline is reporting.
Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, Drew Goddard will pen the script for the movie. The Martian scribe is also set to produce Nevermoor with Sarah Esberg through their production company, Goddard Textiles.
The original fantasy novel, which was published in 2017, was written by Jessica Townsend. Since the book’s initial release, it has inspired a popular literary series, whose fourth installment is expected to be released in October.
Nevermoor tells the story of Morrigan Crow, a girl who was born on the unluckiest day of the year – Eventide – and as a result, is blamed for all local misfortune, from hailstorms to heart attacks. Morrigan’s curse dooms her to die on her next birthday. But in a narrow escape, she’s spirited away by a man named Jupiter North to the book’s magical titular city.
When she arrives in Nevermoor, Morrigan has a chance to escape her fate and join the Wundrous Society, an elite group of remarkable people with remarkable talents. But she’ll only be allowed to join the group if she can triumph over hundreds of other children in a series of difficult, dangerous trials.
A film adaptation of Nevermoor has been in development since the original novel was first published in 2017. Goddard first became attached to the screen adaptation when it first entered development. 20th Century Fox was also attached to the movie at that time, and planned on distributing it after film executives acquired rights to the book before it was released.
Gracey was chosen to direct Nevermoor in part because of the massive box office success he achieved with The Greatest Showman, on which he made his feature film directorial debut. The musical drama stared Hugh Jackman in the eponymous role of P. T. Barnum. The biopic grossed more than $400 million worldwide and its soundtrack became one of the bestselling albums of 2017.
As a result, Gracey has worked on, and began developing, several other high profile films. He serve as the executive producer on the Elton John biopic, Rocketman, which was released by Paramount in 2019. He also helmed Amazon’s biographical documentary, Pink: All I Know So Far, which was released last year.