Mark Pellington is in final negotiations to direct the US remake of The Orphanage.
The Spanish-language original was a critical hit that followed the fortunes of a woman who took over the orphanage where she was raised, to open a home for disabled children.
Once there, her young son begins to play with the same imaginary friend that terrorised her when she was a child... and then disappears.
Guillermo Del Toro, who served as creative supervisor on the 2007 original, is to produce and co-write the script, according to Variety. Pellington's previous credits include The Mothman Prophecies and Arlington Road.
The director has emerged ahead of Del Toro's original choice, Larry Fessenden, as the favourite to land the job.