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Magic dusted the casting, with Oscar darlings Emma Thompson, Viola Davis and Jeremy Irons interested.

There was only one hiccup: The two young, largely unknown stars La Gravenese wanted for his leads hadn't called him back."I'll be honest with you, the reason I really wanted to meet them and talk with them is because neither one of them wanted to do it," says La Gravenese, who adapted the 600-page novel into a screenplay that he says honors the characters while slightly altering the original tale to make a cohesive standalone film.

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It has been translated into 27 languages and comes complete with its own curse-laden mythology.Helmed by director Richard La Gravenese (The Fisher King, P. I Love You), the film adaptation was seen as a likely star-maker; the kind of film that launches careers, segues into merchandise and funds homes in the Hollywood Hills."I had to go after them."Today, on a sunny patio at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Ehrenreich and Englert sit side-by-side at the lunch table, volleying questions, teasing each other like siblings and debating the menu. kind of coffee," the Australian actress explains of her native drink.(It'll be the scallops and prawns for him; a burger and a "flat white" coffee for her. "It's just a little fattening, yummy thing.")As his big-pawed puppy, Addie, curls up under the table, Ehrenreich stows his copy of 100 Years of Solitude."I just decided to scale down and simplify," he says. I was just done."Born in Sydney, Englert was happy existing in the indie world as a mortal 17-year-old when the project surfaced.

"You don't want to remake something that's just been made, as an actor," she says, referencing The Twilight Saga's long shadow. I mostly saw (Creatures as) a studio film, and I'd done nothing."I knew that I would only get an actress of her caliber if there was a challenge to the part in some way.And the same for Emma." "When Richard La Gravanese said to me, 'There's not going to be any CGI, you're just going to have to act one (character) and then the other immediately afterwards,' I said, 'Off we go,' " says Thompson. And something I enjoyed more than I can say."What resulted is a distinct brew of supernatural storytelling.Her parents are filmmaker Colin Englert and director Jane Campion, who wrote and directed The Piano, which earned Anna Paquin an Oscar at just 11 years old. She'd be like, it's fine."Thompson finds Englert's individuality bewitching.If anyone understands what it costs to be young in the spotlight, it's Mom. "We talk a lot about work."Life inside a filmmaking family has been a globe-trotting journey. "There's a homogeny required of young actresses now that is reductive and sends out a very dangerous message to our audiences," says Thompson.Because there's no reason to do that," says Ehrenreich.