Blue Richards Joins Moonacre

13-year-old British actress Dakota Blue Richards (“The Golden Compass”) has been cast to play the central character in Gabor Csupo’s “The Secret of Moonacre” reports Variety.

Lucy Shuttleworth and Graham Alborough penned the script based on the classic children’s novel “The Little White Horse,” by Elizabeth Goudge.

Richards plays Maria, an orphan sent to live with her uncle in mysterious Moonacre Manor. There she enters a world of magical creatures and discovers that she’s the only person who can undo an ancient curse and save Moonacre Valley.

Ioan Gruffudd, Tim Curry, Natascha McElhone and Juliet Stevenson also star. The $27 million project, previously announced with the title “The Moon Princess,” started shooting Monday in Budapest.