Michael Douglas' Further Films is developing We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson's 1962 novel about a reclusive, potentially murderous family.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mark Kruger has penned a draft of the screenplay. Producers are out to cast.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle revolves around the Blackwood family -- primarily of sisters Merricat and Connie and their uncle Julian -- who have been forced into seclusion after the mysterious lethal poisoning of several of their family members six years earlier. Merricat is the younger sister, caring for the agoraphobic Connie, while the ailing Julian increasingly is in the grip of his own obsessions.
The plot is further complicated by the arrival of a dubious, long-lost cousin who seeks to secure the family's fortune.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle has never had a big-screen treatment but was adapted for a short-lived Broadway run in the 1960s. Those familiar with the feature take say it will combine literary and genre elements in what producers hope will transcend the more high-concept commercial horror stories that studios and their labels are making.
Horror gurus like Stephen King have cited Jackson as a prime influence on their work. The author, who died in 1965, probably is best known for her short story "The Lottery," a 1948 tale originally published by the New Yorker. That story tells of a secret ritual stoning in a small American town. Initially controversial, it has become a staple in U.S. classrooms.
No production date has been set.