Margaret Qualley is going to find herself with A Head Full of Ghosts for her next feature film, starring in the adaptation of Paul Tremblay’s psychological horror novel directed by Scott Cooper. Cooper, best known for directing Crazy Heart, Black Mass, and most recently, Hostiles, is taking over directing duties from The Blackcoat’s Daughter director Oz Perkins, who was attached to A Head Full of Ghosts back in 2018.
Deadline reports that Scott Cooper will direct Margaret Qualley in the psychological horror A Head Full of Ghosts, fresh off the actress’ breakout turn in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film adapts Paul Tremblay’s Bram Stoker Award-winning novel of the same name, which follows a suburban family torn apart by the apparent demonic possession of their eldest daughter, who may have actually been showing signs of mental illness.
Here is the book’s synopsis:
The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.
Cooper takes over directing duties for A Head Full of Ghosts two years after Oz Perkins was announced to be helming the adaptation. Deadline’s report doesn’t delve into the details of Perkins’ exit, but the lengthy time that the film was in development and the lack of a cast may have led the director to part ways with the project.
The film maintains its team of producers, however, with Daniel Dubiecki and Lara Alameddine of the Allegiance Theater, Susan Downey of Team Downey, Tyler Thompson of Cross Creek, and Cooper and David Gambino all producing. Robert Downey Jr. is executive producing. Although Cooper doesn’t have as much experience in the psychological horror genre as Perkins, the Hostiles director has collaborated with Cross Creek before with the Johnny Depp-starring Black Mass. Cooper also has the upcoming Guillermo del Toro-produced horror movie Antlers on its way, which shows that he may have found a taste — and, depending on the success of very promising-looking Antlers, a talent — for the genre.