Australian actress Abbie Cornish has stepped in to take the leading role in The Girl, which Goldcrest will be pre-selling at the AFM nextmonth.

The film, to be directed by David Riker and produced by Paul Mezey and Douglas Cummins, is about a woman whose life is changed when she meets an abandoned Mexican child.

Producers are Goldcrest, Axiom, Bonita Films and Journeyman Pictures, with Mexico-based Lulu Producciones co-producing.

Emily Blunt was originally attached to the film, which is in pre-production. Cornish will now play the young mother trying to turn her life around by smuggling immigrants across the border between Texas and Mexico. When her quick money scheme fails, she ends up travelling across Mexico with an orphaned eight year old girl from Oaxaca for company.

Also on Goldcrest’s AFM slate is new Todd Solondz movie, Dark Horse, starring Selma Blair and Christopher Walken. The film, currently shooting, is about Abe (Jordan Gelber) is a 30-something who lives with his parents, works for his father, and collects toys. When he isn’t playing backgammon with his mother (Mia Farrow), he’s trying to romance Vi (Selma Blair), a 30-something who has moved back in with her parents after her literary/academic career crashed. The two agree to marry but just when it looks like things are starting to go right for Abe, everything goes horribly wrong.

Other Goldcrest titles in Santa Monica include Gavin Wiesen’s coming of age romance Homework, starring Freddie Highmore (which is in post-production), Justin Chadwick’s The First Grader and Sarah McCarthy’s The Sound Of Mumbai.