December 17, 2015 • Category: "Big Little Lies", Pacific Standard •
Comments Off on Jean-Marc Vallee to Direct All Episodes of Nicole Kidman-Reese Witherspoon HBO Limited Series
Jean-Marc Vallee to Direct All Episodes of Nicole Kidman-Reese Witherspoon HBO Limited Series
The ‘Wild’ director and his producing partner will also exec produce ‘Big Little Lies.’
HBO’s Big Little Lies adaptation continues to draw A-list talent.
Jean-Marc Vallee (Wild, Dallas Buyers Club) has signed onto direct all seven episodes of the Nicole Kidman- and Reese Witherspoon-headlined limited series, the pay cabler announced Thursday.
Additionally, the Oscar-nominated helmer and his producing partner Nathan Ross have come onboard the series, which hails from TV veteran David E. Kelley, as executive producers. The project marks a reunion for Vallee, Witherspoon and Big Little Lies co-star Laura Dern, who all worked together on Wild. The film earned Oscar nominations for both actresses. Before Wild, Vallee earned an Oscar nomination for film editing for Dallas Buyers Club.
In addition to Dern, Shailene Woodley, Adam Scott and Zoe Kravitz have joined the limited series in recent weeks.
Witherspoon also will executive produce Little Big Lies, like Wild, through her Pacific Standard banner. Her producing partner, Bruna Papandrea, also will executive produce along with Kelley and Kidman, who will produce through her Blossom Films shingle with production partner Per Saari.
“I am thrilled to be making my TV debut with HBO tackling this material,” said Vallee. “After reading David’s amazing scripts, I spontaneously jumped at the opportunity to reteam with Reese and Bruna, as well as collaborating with Nicole and Per.”
Vallee was previously attached to direct the pilot episode of the series. However, his increased involvement is the latest in a growing trend. HBO found similar success when Cary Fukunaga signed on to helm the entire first season of True Detective, for which he won an Emmy. HBO’s sister channel Cinemax boasts Oscar-winning director Steven Sodenbergh, who has directed every episode of period drama The Knick, which he also exec produces.
Australian novelist Liane Moriarty will serve as a producer on Big Little Lies, which debuted atop the New York Times’ best-seller list. She previously penned best-sellers What Alice Forgot, Three Wishes, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and The Husband’s Secret.
Vallee, whose credits also include Demolition, is repped by David Weber.
Laura Dern Boards HBO’s Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman Drama
Jean-Marc Vallee will direct multiple episodes of the David E. Kelley limited series co-starring Shailene Woodley and Adam Scott.
HBO’s Big Little Lies continues to add to its impressive cast.
Enlightened alum Laura Dern is returning to the premium cable network with a co-starring role in limited series Big Little Lies, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The casting also marks a Wild reunion for Dern with star/EP Reese Witherspoon.
From David E. Kelley, the comedic drama centers on three mothers (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley) of kindergartners whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. Dern will take on the role of Renata Klein, a powerful career woman and anti-bullying crusader who is at the center of schoolyard politics on and off the playground. Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) also co-stars as Witherspoon’s husband.
Based on Liane Moriarty’s book of the same name, the drama hails from David E. Kelley (Boston Legal, Ally McBeal) who is writing the limited series. HBO landed the project in May following a bidding war with Netflix.
Kidman and her Blossom Films banner, as well as Witherspoon and her Pacific Standard shingle, optioned the rights to the twisty thriller/soap and No. 1 New York Times best-seller, which was published in July, as a potential feature film before refocusing the drama for television. Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) will direct multiple episodes of the series.
November 27, 2015 • Category: Pacific Standard, Role Rumors •
Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon Producing “Barbie” Origin Story With Bold Films
Reese Witherspoon Producing “Barbie” Origin Story With Bold Films
Sources have confirmed that Reese Witherspoon and her producing partner Bruna Papandrea are in development with the origin story of the iconic Barbie doll, its company and its creator. Pacific Standard has picked up the rights to Robin Gerber’s BARBIE AND RUTH:The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her and have set up the project at Bold Films. Witherspoon and Papadrea are producing, with Jeanne Snow overseeing for Pacific Standard.
The book, first published in 2010, is the remarkable true story of the world’s most famous toy and the woman who created her, Ruth Handler. The story is described as “a fascinating account of how one visionary woman and her product changed an industry and sparked a lasting debate about women’s roles.”
Handler was inspired to create the now-famous Barbie doll after seeing her daughter, Barbara, playing with paper dolls. Wanting to create a doll that could better support the clothes her daughter was trying to dress the dolls in, Handler found a novelty toy abroad and modified it to work as a toy for children, which her husband’s company Mattel then manufactured. The original Barbie premiered at the American International Toy Fair in 1959.
While Barbie became a household name by the 1970s, selling millions of units over the past five decades, sales of the doll have fallen in recent years amid increased competition and controversies related to the body image issues associated with the doll.
The option on Barbie and Ruth continues Pacific Standard’s recent buying streak. In recent months, Witherspoon and Papandrea have picked up the rights to multiple literary properties, including Luckiest Girl Alive, Napkin Notes and In A Dark, Dark Wood. They’re in active development with adaptations of Maureen Sherry’s Opening Belle and the Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s Ashley’s War.
The acquisition of the Barbie origin story comes on the heels of Sony’s announcement that they are putting together a feature set ‘in the world of Barbie’, where Barbie “uses the skills she has gained in her personal life and professional experience to help others.” Amy Pascal is producing, with Diablo Cody currently rewriting the script from Jenny Bicks. Interestingly enough, Witherspoon had been rumored to be on the shortlist of A-listers that Sony was eyeing to play Barbie, but that seems unlikely now given she has her own Barbie project in the works–albeit a very different one.
Producers are currently seeking a writer to adapt Gerber’s material for the screen.
As posted about previously, Reese is one of Glamour magazine’s Women Of The Year for 2015, and last night she attended the awards ceremony in New York to receive her honour. Reese was presented with her statue by Goldie Hawn – one of her acting heroes – and Reese gave an impassioned speech about female empowerment in Hollywood. She wore a pretty blue floral embroidered dress by Erdem for the event; I really love this look on her, and it’s great to see her wearing something new! Reese’s husband accompanied her to the event and they posed together backstage.
Check out our first HQ photos from the night in the Gallery, and scroll on down this post to read Reese’s full speech, articles from the event, and some video footage from the red carpet.
Reese Witherspoon’s Moving Speech at Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards: “Like Elle Woods, I Do Not Like to be Underestimated.”
At tonight’s Glamour Women of the Year Awards, Goldie Hawn presented Reese Witherspoon with an award for her work creating stronger roles for women in film. Witherspoon’s speech was so inspiring and powerful, you’ll want to read every bit of it in its entirety. Here it is, below.
Reese Witherspoon: “I can’t thank Glamour magazine enough and Conde Nast and Cindi for asking me to be here. You just made this night so amazing. These incredible, inspiring women are doing so many things to change how we perceive women, and I hope Amy Schumer and all the other nominees that when you consider making your biopic, you’ll give me the rights first, which would be great. Although Amy, I’ll have to play your grandmother in the movie (by Hollywood standards), and you’ll probably have to play your own mother.
I’m so excited that so many young women are here tonight.This all started for me when I was a little girl. I was 14 years old when I learned that I love acting, and I still do. Acting allows me to slip into the skin of all kinds of different women, and not in a creepy Silence of the Lambs way…but in a way that lets me explore the full spectrum of humanity. Every woman I’ve ever played is passionate and strong and flawed, except for Tracy Flick. She’s 100% perfect, but she made me say that. But I also learned at 14 years old that I was ambitious. Really ambitious. Did I say that out loud? Let’s talk about ambition.
Reese Witherspoon Documentary by Amanda Marsalis: Taking on Hollywood
This year, for the 25th anniversary of Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards, we decided to have eight award-winning filmmakers trail our honorees and create short films that answer the question: What makes this woman a Woman of the Year? Here is what they had to say, in their own words.
Amanda Marsalis: Reese is taking on male-run/dominated Hollywood and giving the world what it wants: More films told from a woman’s point of view. I think she is leading the way and am so excited to see what she comes up with next.
Amanda Marsalis is a photographer and director who lives in Los Angeles with her dog Queso. Her work as appeared in Vogue, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. Her debut feature film Echo Park premiere at the LAFF this year and is scheduled for release in 2016.
While in Nashville a couple of weeks ago Reese spoke to Vanderbilt University business students about starting up her Draper James company and how she manages her career. Read more below, and see the photos in our Gallery:
Actress Reese Witherspoon opens up to Vanderbilt business students about starting a new retail store in Nashville—and balancing the rest of her life
When actress and Nashville native Reese Witherspoon shot a movie in Atlanta several years ago—smack in the middle of a culinary and artistic renaissance—she realized there were no stores that captured those uniquely Southern experiences, everything from tailgating to sprawling Sunday suppers.
“I was being approached at that time by some big American brands to represent their businesses,” she said during a Q&A with students Oct. 27 at the Owen Graduate School of Management. “But then I thought, ‘why isn’t anybody telling these Southern stories?’”
Witherspoon’s first inclination was to start a blog showcasing the lifestyles of a new kind of Southern woman—those with a cosmopolitan bent who, like her, have come to embrace their hometowns in cities like Atlanta, Nashville and New Orleans (not unlike Witherspoon’s film Sweet Home Alabama).
Reese recently made a surprise appearance at the Australian In Film Gala in Los Angeles to present her producing partner Bruna Papandrea with one of the night’s big awards. Reese wore a simple white dress to the event, and posed with Bruna backstage. Read more in this post, and find HQ photos in our Gallery…
Reese Witherspoon Honors Bruna Papandrea at Australians in Film Awards Gala
Bruna Papandrea, Elizabeth Debicki, Bill Mechanic and Dion Beebe were honored at the 4th annual Australians in Film awards benefit dinner and gala Sunday at the Hotel InterContinental in Century City. Carrie Bickmore hosted the reception that recognizes the contributions of actors and filmmakers to the Australian film industry.
Reese Witherspoon, who originally thought she would be unavailable Sunday, made a guest appearance to introduce her production partner and recipient of the Virgin Australia Orry-Kelly International Award, Papandrea. Witherspoon joked about Papandrea, rousing laughter from the crowd, but emphasized the producer‘s work ethic and perseverance. “I have definitely learned through this process where there is a will and a really loud, opinionated Australian lady, there is a way,” Witherspoon said.
Papandrea and Witherspoon, who launched the production company Pacific Standard together in 2012, strive to create movies that focus on a strong female lead. The pair released two high-profile films within two weeks of each other last year — “Gone Girl” and “Wild” — both of which are based on best-selling books.
Papandrea was raised by a single mother in Australia. “My point in telling you where I came from is to remind young people, at a time when they are told so often that they can’t accomplish their dreams, that all things are possible regardless of where you come from,” Papandrea said. “Always be who you are, speak your truth, [and] don’t be afraid to express your opinions even if they differ from other people’s, which they will.”
12 things we learned about Reese Witherspoon at her American Cinematheque tribute
“All Reese, all Reese, all Reese!”
Matthew McConaughey had it mostly (all) right Friday night in twisting his trademark catchphrase as he presented Reese Witherspoon with the American Cinematheque Award at the annual fundraiser for the nonprofit group.
The bulk of the ceremony, which also honored Dreamworks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, was devoted to the 39-year-old Witherspoon and the nearly 50 movies she has headlined or produced in a career dating back to her 1991 debut in Robert Mulligan’s lovely coming-of-age story “The Man in the Moon.”
Here are a dozen things we learned about Witherspoon from her many friends and colleagues:
1. Witherspoon will soon reunite with “Election” writer-director Alexander Payne for “Downsizing”, co-starring Matt Damon. Payne says he receives more compliments about “Election,” in which Witherspoon played a ferociously precocious high school student running for class president, than any other movie in his lauded career.
“Even Barack Obama told me it’s his favorite political film,” Payne said.
2. Sofia Vergara calls Witherspoon, her “Hot Pursuit” co-star, “my little pony.” She did not explain why.
3. When country music singer Kenny Chesney thinks of Witherspoon, he thinks of the song “Wild Child,” which he performed at the tribute. But he didn’t explain whether it was because she starred in a movie called “Wild” or because Witherspoon reminds him of the song’s lyrics, (“a spirit that can’t be tamed, a calico pony on an open plain.”) Wait … there’s that pony thing again!
4. Kate Hudson first met Witherspoon at the premiere of “Man in the Moon,” where she watched the young actress work the after-party “like a seasoned politician.” (Witherspoon did the same thing at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza’s ballroom Friday, graciously welcoming dozens of the 800 people in attendance.)
5. The words Hudson heard most early in her career: “It’s between you and Reese” or “Well … Reese has the offer. But if she passes, it might come to you.”
6. Witherspoon will not let guests get away with singing just any old Christmas song like “Frosty the Snowman” at her annual holiday party. “No,” Hudson says, “it’s ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’ ”
7. Apparently, Witherspoon’s husband, CAA agent Jim Toth, can’t sing. Or, at least not well. He’s not allowed to participate in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
8. Witherspoon yells at Laura Dern, who played her mom in “Wild,” for not being on social media more. And for using brown lipstick.
9. Dern’s mother, actress Diane Ladd, and Witherspoon’s mom, Betty (who sat next to her daughter at the Cinematheque event), are tight. Dern believes Witherspoon has an innate desire to take care of other people because she “grew up in a home of healthcare providers.”
10. Legendary music man T Bone Burnett had a feeling Witherspoon would win the Best Actress Oscar for playing June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line” when he heard her let out an “actual blood-curdling scream” in frustration after wrestling with the classic Carter Family folk song “Wildwood Flower.”
“All the birds flew away,” Burnett remembered of Witherspoon’s cry.
11. Robert Downey Jr. would very much like to order the Bessie Bow table runner from Witherspoon’s clothing and home store Draper James, but he can’t get his credit card to work.
12. Two of Witherspoon’s three children — 16-year-old Ava and 12-year-old Deacon — can’t get enough of this 1991 Entertainment Tonight video, in which a young Reese talks about how much fun it will be to go to the video store in 30 years and rent “The Man in the Moon” on laserdisc and watch it with her kids.
“I thought that was the best moment of my life,” Witherspoon said from the stage. “I was wrong about that. Some days I still can’t believe that I get to do this, that I get to be a storyteller in this world. It is the greatest privilege of my life.”
To celebrate our 16 years online, here we are spotlighting 16 of our favourite Reese things from the past 16 years. You will see a new one upon refreshing or changing the page.
"It took me years to be the woman my mother raised. It took me 4 years, 7 months and 3 days to do it, without her. After I lost myself in the wilderness of my grief, I found my own way out of the woods."
Luckiest Girl Alive
Tiny Beautiful Things
Barbie origins project
In A Dark, Dark Wood
Untitled Rob Long Project
The Thing About Jellyfish
All Is Not Forgotten
Three Little Words
Pale Blue Dot
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