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Roxanne Gay book becoming movie with Beyond the Lights team

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Gina Prince-Bythewood and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the respective director and star of the romantic drama Beyond the Lights, are reteaming to bring the kidnapping thriller An Untamed State to the big screen.

Prince-Bythewood will helm the adaptation of Roxane Gay’s 2014 novel for Fox Searchlight Pictures, and she will co-write the screenplay with the author herself.

Mbatha-Raw, whose acting credits also include Concussion and Belle, will star in the story of a Haitian-American woman whose charmed life is upended when she is abducted in broad daylight in front of her father’s Port-au-Prince estate and held for ransom.

Gay confirmed the news, which was first reported by Deadline, in a series of tweets. She added, “To be able to tell a black woman’s story and have it directed by a black woman is a dream come true, I’ll tell you what.”

Prince-Bythewood’s previous films include Love & Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees. She and Michael De Luca will produce An Untamed State, with Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel serving as executive producers.