With a successful background in TV and indie-cred comedies, Brie Larson has so far avoided the early career horror roles that blight the CV of many an actress. But it's a balance she clearly feels the need to redress, since she's now locked into Room. The dark psychological captivity drama will be Leonard Abrahamson's next project, following the Sidebottom oddity Frank.
Nothing to do with the world-conquering Apple game, this Room is based on the 2010 novel by Emma Donoghue, which is itself based loosely on the real life case of Elisabeth Fritzl. Fritzl was imprisoned in a secret basement space by her appalling father Josef for 24 years, bearing him several children which he explained as foundlings. She was discovered in 2008, and her father was jailed for life in 2009.
In Donoghue's Booker-shortlisted version, this becomes the story of Ma, seven years a prisoner with a five-year-old son called Jack, who is also the novel's narrator. Their captor remains offstage, given little attention, since the focus is Jack's world view, having never known anything but the small space in which he lives. But that world is about to be shaken when he and Ma are finally freed.
Donoghue has written her own screenplay, and Larson will play Ma. Ed Guiney will produce for his company Element Pictures, and the financing is currently coming together.
Abrahamson's Frank is out in the UK on May 9. Donoghue's Room is published in the UK by Picador.