Supernatural thriller will mark feature directorial debut of UK TV director Nick Murphy.

Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton have been set to star in supernatural thriller The Awakeningwhich marks the feature directorial debut of celebrated UK TV director Nick Murphy. Shooting will begin in June.

David Thompson, whose Origin Pictures developed the project at BBC Films. is producing. StudioCanal Features will be lead financier alongside BBC Films and Scottish Screen. StudioCanal is launching sales here.

BBC Films’ Joe Oppenheimer is executive producing alongside Will Clarke and Jenny Borgars of StudioCanal’s UK distribution and production arm Optimum Releasing.

Set in post-World War I England in 1921, the film follows a skeptical woman who travels to a countryside boarding school to investigate rumours of an apparent haunting. Just when she thinks she has debunked the ghost theory, she has a chilling spectral encounter which defies all her rational beliefs.

Murphy co-wrote the film with Stephen Volk; Murphy’s TV credits include Surviving Disaster and Occupation.

“This is a riveting and very original script and we are thrilled that it is to be directed by Nick Murphy as his first feature,” said David Thompson of Origin Pictures, whose first film, Justin Chadwick’s The First Grader, is in post.

The film is the third UK production from Optimum since it was acquired by StudioCanal. Rowan Joffe’s Brighton Rock with Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough and Helen Mirren is in post-production and Joe Cornish’s Attack The Block is currently shooting.

Rising star Rebecca Hall is currently on US screens in Nicole Holofcener’s Please Give, will next be seen in Ben Affleck’s The Town and recently wrapped Dan Rush’s Everything Must Go.