Tony Award-winning and Oscar-nominated directer Stephen Daldry has signed on to direct a film adaptation of the hot property The Wonderling. Planned as a trilogy, this fantasy series by bestselling author Mira Bartok, is set in a futuristic Victorian-inspired land ruled by the High Hats and populated by animal-human hybrids known as Groundlings, who work in underground factories in a life of servitude.
The story revolves around a character named Number Thirteen, a shy, one-eared foundling, described as half human/half fox, who escapes from an orphanage with the help of his bird friend Trinket. After the unlikely pair flee the orphanage, they embark on an amazing adventure.
Fox 2000 competed for and won the preemptive film rights to Bartok’s partial manuscript, which is currently being shopped to publishers. Bartok, a highly acclaimed author, previously wrote a bestselling and award-winning autobiography called The Memory Place: A Memoir. She also authored an interactive middle school book series about world culture titled The Ancient and Living Culture Series.
On her website, Bartok wrote about The Wonderling, saying: “My current project is an illustrated middle grade fantasy trilogy called The Wonderling, which won the 2014 runner up for the SCBWI Work-in-Progress Grant for Fiction. The three books in the series are (tentatively) titled Songcatcher, Rat Rebellion and The Singing Tree.”
This material represents a departure for Daldry, who is known for directing reality-based films like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, with Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, and the 2002 drama The Hours, which featured an Oscar-winning performance by Nicole Kidman.