March 27, 2012 - 18:34 AMT
“Secret Life of Bees” director takes on “Before I Fall” bestseller adaptation

Gina Prince-Bythewood is in negotiations to direct Before I Fall, Fox 2000’s adaptation of the best-selling book by Lauren Oliver. Jon Shestack (Dan in Real Life) is producing, The Hollywood Reporter said.

The story in the book is told through the eyes of a high school senior who experiences slightly altered versions of the hours leading up to her death in a car crash. Over the course of the story, she falls in love, making surprising discoveries about her friends and family as she races to change the outcome. She also connects with a depressed, bullied girl whose life she holds in her hands.

Maria Maggenti initially adapted the script, though Prince-Bythewood will now do a rewrite. Bythewood is making herself at home in the Fox family. She is best known for directing and writing the 2008 Fox Searchlight drama The Secret Life of Bees, which starred Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah. She also is developing as a directing vehicle I Know This Much Is True, based on the 1998 Wally Lamb novel.