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TriStar Pictures Lands Alex Garland Script ‘Toymaker’s Secret’ – Variety

TriStar Pictures has landed the rights to “The Toymaker’s Secret,” the highly coveted spec from “Annihilation” and “Ex Machina” scribe Alex Garland.

Unlike “Annihilation” and “Ex Machina,” Garland is only writing this pic, while Paloma Baeza will direct. Garland, Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, and Cara Speller will produce.

“The Toymaker’s Secret” tells the story of an American family who moves into an old Victorian house in London and begins to believe it might be haunted.

“‘The Toymaker’s Secret’ is an original movie with such heart and humor and magic that it is sure to become an instant classic for the whole family,” said Hannah Minghella, president, TriStar Pictures. “We are thrilled to be working with Paloma on her debut feature and with Alex and Andrew who are both long-time friends and creative partners.”

Following the critical acclaim of scripts like “28 Days Later,” “Ex Machina,” and most recently “Annihilation,” packages involving Garland are quick to draw attention. Several other suitors were in play before TriStar eventually landed the film.

“We couldn’t be more delighted to begin this adventure with TriStar. Hannah’s enthusiasm and insight are the perfect fit for an exciting collaboration,” said Baeza. “This project will join my love of animation with a live-action world, and it’s fantastic to be bringing this story to life.”

Unlike Garland’s previous films, which were more geared to adults in the sci-fi genre, this movie is family-focused, with his wife Baeza making her directorial debut.

Baeza is BAFTA and Annie Award-winner for her work on “Poles Apart.”

Minghella and Nicole Brown will oversee the project for Tristar Pictures. The film marks Macdonald’s return to the studio after his work on TriStar Pictures’ “Trainspotting 2.”

Garland is represented by WME. Baeza is represented by Verve.

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