The 2008 novel by Ron Rash opens in the year 1929 and tells the story of newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton, who move from Boston to the North Carolina to start a timber empire. But things go pear-shaped when she learns she can't bear children and decides to murder her husband's illegitimate son.
The opening paragraph sets the tone pretty quickly:
When Pemberton returned to the North Carolina mountains after three months in Boston settling his father's estate, among those waiting on the train platform was a young woman pregnant with Pemberton's child. She was accompanied by her father, who carried beneath his shabby frock coat a bowie knife sharpened with great attentiveness earlier that morning so it would plunge as deep as possible into Pemberton's heart.
Christopher Kyle, who wrote the early Kathryn Bigelow movies "The Weight of Water" and "K-19: The Widowmaker," has written the script. Nick Wechsler, who ushered along other recent adaptations such as "The Road," "The Time Traveler's Wife" and "Reservation Road," will produce.
As they shop their new project around town, Jolie continues shooting "The Tourist" opposite Johnny Depp and Aronofsky is prepping for the release of "Black Swan," starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as rival ballerinas.