JJ Abrams, Daisy Ridley to Reteam on ‘Kolma’ at Paramount (Exclusive)

Marielle Heller (“Diary of a Teenage Girl”) is in negotiations to direct the fantasy thriller

Daisy Ridley and JJ Abrams
SANTA MONICA, CA – FEBRUARY 25: Actress Daisy Ridley (L) and director J.J. Abrams attend the Oscar Wilde Awards at Bad Robot on February 25, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-Ireland Alliance)

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” breakout Daisy Ridley and producer J.J. Abrams are planning to reteam on “Kolma,” a fantasy thriller that “Diary of a Teenage Girl” filmmaker Marielle Heller is in negotiations to direct for Paramount, TheWrap has exclusively learned.

“Kolma” is based on Keren Margalit’s 2003 Israeli movie of the week titled “All I’ve Got” (“Kol Ma She’Yesh Li”). Described as a cross between a loftier, more mystical version of “The Notebook” and Albert Brooks‘ 1991 fantasy romance “Defending Your Life,” the project follows a young couple who get in a car accident that leaves the man dead. Decades later, the old woman must choose whether to reunite with her long-lost love in the afterlife or return to the fateful day her life changed forever.

IMDb offers a complete plot synopsis of “All I’ve Got,” though the story could certainly change in the U.S. remake “Kolma,” which Abrams is producing with Ram Bergman (“Star Wars: Episode VIII”), Sherryl Clark (“Cloverfield”) and David Lonner (“Dope”). The most recent draft of the script was written by Megan Holley. Other scribes who previously worked on the project include Rolin Jones, Karen Moncrieff and Sarah Polley.

Paramount executive Elizabeth Raposo will oversee the project on behalf of the studio, while Lindsey Weber will oversee on behalf of Bad Robot.

The “Kolma” budget is expected to be between $60 million and $70 million — enough to allow for impressive visual effects while keeping the scale of the film relatively modest. Ridley hasn’t carried a movie outside of the “Star Wars” franchise yet, but the mid-range budget means she won’t be pressured to launch a tentpole. Abrams’ name as a producer certainly helps, as it did with Paramount’s $25 million opening weekend for “10 Cloverfield Lane.”

Every studio in town has courted Ridley for high-profile roles, but it makes sense that Abrams would get first-crack at the in-demand actress, considering he helped launch her to stardom with the role of Rey in “The Force Awakens.”

Ridley is currently filming “Star Wars: Episode VIII” under the direction of Rian Johnson, and she’s expected to return for Colin Trevorrow‘s “Episode IX.” The 24-year-old actress has been heavily rumored to star in MGM’s “Tomb Raider” reboot, which will be distributed by Warner Bros. In January, she also signed on to executive produce the well-reviewed Sundance documentary “The Eagle Huntress,” which will be released by Sony Pictures Classics.

Ridley is represented by CAA and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Abrams is repped by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman. Heller is repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham.