Derek Cianfrance to shoot Stedman novel in Australia

04 September, 2013 by Don Groves

Australian author M.L. Stedman’s debut novel The Light Between Oceans is being adapted into a feature film produced by DreamWorks and directed by Derek Cianfrance, his follow-up to The Place Beyond the Pines.

Published last year, the international best seller is set on an island off the coast of Western Australia after WW1. The plot revolves around a lighthouse keeper and his wife who find a 2-month-old girl and a dead body in a rowboat and decide to raise the baby as their own.


The producers are David Heyman (Harry Potter, Yes Man, Is Anybody There?) and Jeffrey Clifford.

No start date or location has been announced but Ausfilm and Screen Australia have been in discussions on the project with DreamWorks from an early stage.

“Australia and Australians are very involved in the film and its development,” Tracey Vieira, Ausfilm Executive Vice President International Production, told IF.

DreamWorks announced it was in exclusive talks to acquire the novel last November with this quote from Stedman, “I’m both thrilled and incredibly honoured that filmmakers of the calibre of DreamWorks and David Heyman are combining their brilliance in plans to bring the book to the big screen.

“I’ve lost count of the number of readers who have said ‘I can’t wait to see the novel as a movie!’ As a keen film fan, I feel the same.”

The WA-born, London-based Stedman has worked as a lawyer. In a rare interview she told the Sydney Morning Herald last year, ''The story throws up the role of isolation on morality – when you don't see the impact of your actions. Perhaps it's easier to fool yourself when you cannot see the face of those who are affected by what you do.''