Affinity International has boarded sales rights heading into Cannes to The Great Ghost Rescue, set to begin eight weeks of principal photography in the UK and Hungary next week.

Yann Samuell, whose credits include Love Me If You Dare, will direct Jason Isaacs, Kevin McKidd and Emma Fielding in David Solomons’ adaptation of the novel by Eva Ibbotson. Affinity and CAA are representing North American rights.

The cast includes Georgia Groome, Steven Mackintosh and newcomer Toby Hall, who plays a small ghost whose family has been ousted from their home.

The family unites with other spirits in a bid to find a sanctuary, but in the process the tide of opinion turns against them.

“When I first read an early draft of The Great Ghost Rescue I immediately fell in love with Humphrey and this dysfunctional family – they were instant classics to me,” Samuell said.

“It’s the kind of film I have always wanted to make for my own five children. Characters make a movie, and although these characters are dead, in story terms they are so alive.”

Miriam Segal is producing for Good Films alongside Newbridge Film Capital, Silver Reel and Lip Sync Productions. 

“Yann is the perfect director to handle making this classic live action narrative,” Segal said. “He has the visual flair, and an incredible imagination. We want kids from six to 60 to find a kind of storytelling that’s not wholly dependent on special effects, where comedy and character (and ghosts) are the real heroes.”

Affinity International’s Cannes slate includes the thriller Jack from Bold Films, Odd Lot’s Rabbit Hole directed by John Cameron Mitchell and starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, and From Prada To Nada starring Adriana Barraza, Camilla Belle, Alexa Vega, Wilmer Valderrama and Kuno Becker.