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The Marsh King's Daughter - What We Know So Far

Karen Dionne is a prolific author known for her suspenseful stories that still manage to touch on topical issues. This is most readily apparent in her debut novel, "Freezing Point," which came out in 2008. However, Dionne saw some of the best reviews of her career so far with her 2017 novel, "The Marsh King's Daughter." While the title may sound like a fantastical fairy tale, it's a dark psychological thriller that will keep you turning from one page to the next. Critics couldn't get enough of it when it was first released, singing words of praise for the book — such as when The New York Times wrote that the novel was "As good as a thriller can be." 

As such, it perhaps should come as no surprise that studios would be interested in adapting the work (as they often like to do), and whether you've read the book or not, this is one film you want to keep your eye on, as development gets underway. Here's what we know so far.

What's the release date for The Marsh King's Daughter?

According to a recent report from Deadline published on May 5, 2021, filming for "The Marsh King's Daughter" is set to begin in June of this year. The article goes on to mention how principal photography will take place in Canada, and it will likely continue for at least a few months after that. Assuming there aren't any more delays and there isn't a need for extensive reshoots, then it would stand to reason that the film could come out at some point between the summer and winter of 2022. 

"The Marsh King's Daughter" is being fully financed by Black Bear, which is also the studio behind such critically acclaimed films as "The Imitation Game," "All Is Lost," and "I Care A Lot." Given how positively received the book was, it's not out of the question the studio would hope the film could reap some awards, so a prime spot around December 2022 or January 2023 wouldn't be out of place. 

Who's in the cast for The Marsh King's Daughter?

To fill out the cast for "The Marsh King's Daughter," it looks like director Neil Burger ("Limitless," "Divergent") has searched in a galaxy far, far away. He's gotten two fiercely talented "Star Wars" actors to take on the lead roles. First, there's Daisy Ridley playing Helena, who most recently starred in the long-delayed sci-fi drama, "Chaos Walking." Interestingly, back in 2018, Alicia Vikander ("The Danish Girl," "Tomb Raider") was attached to star as Helena (via Variety). This was back when Morten Tyldum, who directed "The Imitation Game," was also in line to work on the movie, but it seems as though over the years, some significant changes have occurred. 

Starring opposite Daisy Ridley will be Ben Mendelsohn, playing her character's villainous father, Jacob Holbrook. The actor has a real knack for playing antagonists over the last few years, as evidenced by his parts in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and "Ready Player One." 

Additionally, per Variety, "The Marsh King's Daughter" will star Caren Pistorius, Gil Birmingham, and Brookylnn Prince. Details on their characters haven't been announced as of June 2021.

What's the plot of The Marsh King's Daughter?

"The Marsh King's Daughter" follows Helena as the protagonist. She's a young woman who is married and carrying on what seems like a normal life. But the truth of the matter is that many years ago, her father, Jacob, kidnapped her mother and kept her in a remote cabin in the woods. Helena is a product of that abduction, and when she was a child, she thought nothing of the life she had in the middle of nowhere. Now, as an adult Helena, knows Jacob is a monster, and when news gets out that he's escaped from prison, she knows that she's the only one who can venture into the marsh to track him down and bring him to justice for the abuses he inflicted on her and her mom.

With an engaging lead character and a tense plot where the lead has to confront her past, literally and metaphorically, it makes for a compelling read. Karen Dionne's novel is certainly worth reading prior to seeing the movie, so that you can compare the two. After all, some movies turn out just as good (or even better) than the books they're based on, and there's plenty of time to add "The Marsh King's Daughter" to your Kindle and get through it all before the film comes out.