Ron Howard to take on The Girl Before after Dan Brown’s Inferno

nat geo first scripted series genius ron howard
Flickr Creative Commons/Marco
We’re less than two weeks from the release of Ron Howard’s whale tale In the Heart of the Sea and less than a year away from his take on Dan Brown’s Inferno, but the director has wasted no time finding his next project.

According to Deadline Hollywood, Howard is set to captain an adaptation of The Girl Before, an as-of-yet unpublished thriller novel from J.P. Delaney, which is believed to be a pseudonym of best-selling author Tony Strong (The Death Pit, The Decoy). Universal has secured the film rights for the book, following a competition with TriStar, Paramount, and several other studios.

The novel won’t be published until the fall of 2016, so you’ll have to wait until then to find out if it’s worth all of the attention it’s attracting, but some basic plot details have emerged that should help you get a picture of the source material.

The book follows the story of a damaged woman who falls for a peculiar house and for the man who designed it, but when she learns that a woman died there three years prior, she begins to worry that she’ll share the fate of The Girl Before.

Sounds a bit like the plot of a Hitchcock film — not the sort of story we’re used to seeing from Howard, whose directing resume includes films like Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon, and Rush.

No word yet on when this film will hit theaters or who will be cast as the girls before and after, but we’ll keep you posted as details filter in.

In the meantime, Howard fans can catch the director’s adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s non-fiction book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. The film — which is entitled In the Heart of the Sea — hits theaters December 11, 2015 and stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland (The Impossible), and Cillian Murphy (The Dark Knight Rises).

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