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Kimberly Peirce to Direct ‘Wicked Lovely’ for Universal

Caroline Thompson is adapting Melissa Marr’s novel, which concerns a girl who sees faeries

Kimberly Peirce ("Boys Don't Cry") is attached to direct Universal's big screen adaptation of Melissa Marr's fantasy novel "Wicked Lovely," the studio announced on Thursday.

Vince Vaughn's Wild West Picture Show Productions is behind the project, which Vaughn will produce with his sister Valeri Vaughn and Peter Billingsley.

Caroline Thompson ("Edward Scissorhands") is adapting the novel, which follows a teenage girl who has seen invisible yet dangerous faeries her entire life. Her grandmother instructs her to ignore them so they won't attack, but eventually the heroine decides to go against everything she's been taught in order to confront a world that she was raised to fear.

While Peirce's critically acclaimed, controversial debut lit up the indie film world in 1999 and won Hilary Swank her first Oscar, launching her to stardom in the process, the filmmaker's 2008 follow-up, "Stop-Loss," was a ham-fisted, indecisive character study that missed the opportunity to make a powerful political point. Hopefully this material will provide a return to form for Peirce, who will be working with a New York Times bestseller that has been published in 18 languages by Harper Collins.

"Wicked Lovely" is the first book in a four-book series. The latest installment, titled "Radiant Shadows," will be published later this year.

Universal's VP of Production Kristin Lowe and creative exec Kiska Higgs will oversee the project for the studio.

Peirce is represented by CAA, which negotiated Marr's deal as well, while ICM reps Thompson.