Andrew Michael Hurley’s Starve Acre heads to the big screen, with actors Matt Smith and Morfydd Clark on board, Variety reports

Daniel Kokotajlo will direct the actors in an adaptation of Hurley’s 2019 horror novel, which follows Richard and Juliette, a British couple in their 1970s whose son starts behaving strangely. The two try various ways to find solace, but their lives are thrown into disarray when they make a surprising discovery.

In a 2019 interview of sublime horrorHurley said his book “is about families, about the effects of grief and loss, and the different ways people try to cope with them.”

“It’s an exploration of the difficulty of grief,” he said. “The word that kept coming to my mind as I was writing it was ‘psychosis’, that it generates this sense of madness. Being next of kin is very mind-boggling, it’s very confusing, it’s seemingly endless, and whatever we’re trying to get out of it is seemingly pointless.”

Smith, known for his roles on doctor who and The crownwill play Richard, while Clark, who will star in Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series, will star as Juliette.

Starve Acre will be Kokotajlo’s second feature film, whose film Apostasy was released in 2017. The film is produced by Emma Duffy (Eternal Beauty), Juliette Howell (The miracle), and Tessa Ross (Billy Elliot) for BBC film.

“Daniel is one of the most exciting filmmakers working today and we are excited to bring his adaptation of Andrew Michael Hurley’s extraordinary novel to the screen,” Ross said. Variety† †Starve Acre is already a genre that defines the modern classic – Daniel’s unique vision and exceptional cast bring great depth and power to this evocative story.”

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and a regular contributor to NPR.