By Jeff Sneider

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Derek Cianfrance ("Blue Valentine") will direct DreamWorks' drama "The Light Between Oceans," based on the international bestseller from first-time novelist M.L. Stedman, the studio said Tuesday.

Set on a remote Australian island in the years following World War I, story follows a lighthouse keeper and his wife who are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a two-month-old infant. When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences of their choice are devastating.

Heyday Films' David Heyman ("Gravity") will produce with Jeffrey Clifford. Rosie Alison, who brought the book into Heyday, will executive produce.

"The Light Between Oceans" was published in the U.S. in July 2012 by Scribner and has since been translated into nearly 30 languages.

"With his previous work, Derek has exhibited a deft touch when handling complex and emotional subject matter," said Holly Bario, president of production at DreamWorks. "With Derek on board to direct, we know the project couldn't be in more capable hands."

"We have been ardent fans of Derek here at DreamWorks and were looking for a project on which we could collaborate," said Stacey Snider, co-chair and CEO of DreamWorks. "We certainly believe he can make a modern epic from M.L.'s poignant novel and will be able to capture the great epic sweep and emotional honestly of this story."

Cianfrance wrote and directed the critically acclaimed films "Blue Valentine" and "The Place Beyond the Pines." He's repped by CAA and Electric City Entertainment.