Sam Riley, the star of Brighton Rock that premieres in Toronto tonight [13], has joined Ballpark Productions / Neversink Productions’ Anthony Burgess adaptation ADead Man In Deptford.

Robbie Little’s The Little Film Company is representing worldwide rights here. Nick Copus will direct the US-UK project scheduled to begin shooting in spring 2011.

Riley will star as Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe, the notorious Elizabethan playwright and royal spy to Elizabeth I. The story focuses on Marlowe’s death in Deptford at the age of 29, which according to historians either resulted from a bar room brawl or a top-level assassination.

James Purefoy, Ray Winstone, Ed Speleers and Adam Sinclair round out the cast.

Michael Elias adapted the screenplay after acquiring the rights to the novel and will produce with Mark Thomas of Ballpark Productions.

Riley won the 2007 British Independent Film Award for most promising newcomer for his turn as Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis in Control. Brighton Rock is set to receive its world premiere tonight [13].

“With such a young career, Sam has already proven himself as a young James Dean on the rise and he couldn’t be more fitting for the role of Marlowe,” Thomas said.

“Kit Marlowe was the bad boy of the Elizabethan theatre – the Joe Orton of his day; troubled, violent, and the undisputed writer of the most beautiful poetry to grace the English stage,” Elias added. “From the minute I saw Sam in Control I knew he was Marlowe.”