Ian Somerhalder starring in 'Cradlewood'

Indie film described as a romantic gothic fairy tale

Ian Somerhalder, star of the CW's "The Vampire Diaries," has signed to topline the romantic gothic fairy tale "Cradlewood." Hand Picked Films and Instinct Entertainment are behind the indie being directed by Harry Weinmann.

The movie centers on an Australian woman living in Boston with the heir (Somerhalder) to an incredible fortune whose family history is swirled in a legend that tells of a pact made with a demon which ensures that whenever a boy is born into the family, the father is killed.

The heir suspects his girlfriend is pregnant, and after strange events occur, he comes to believe he will die if he continues to fall in love.

Emma Lung ("The Boys Are Back") will play the Australian woman.

"Cradlewood" is based on original story by Weinmann. Stephen Sewell ("The Boys") and John Paul Chapple ("Bathroy") wrote the script.

Michel Shane ("Catch Me If You Can") and David Redman ("Strange Bedfellows") will produce. Anthony Romano, Shana Levine and Dean Murphy will executive produce.

"We see this is as almost like an American-style 'Pan's Labyrinth' in look and feel," Shane said. "It's a perfect segue for the kids who have outgrown 'Twilight' but want something romantic and scary. Our monster will be quite terrifying; she is sexually attractive and monstrous at the same time."

The movie will take advantage of Down Under's 42% film-tax incentive, shooting Melbourne for Boston.

"Cradlewood" is eyeing production in April, during Somerhalder's hiatus from "Diaries." The actor, repped by Innovative Artists and Untitled Entertainment, also is known for his work on ABC's "Lost."