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.
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.”
Last weekend Reese received her American Cinematheque Award at a ceremony in Los Angeles. Reese walked the red carpet with two of her kids – Ava & Deacon – and her husband Jim was in the audience with them. During the night, tributes were paid to her by friends and colleagues including Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Garner, Alexander Payne, and Matthew McConaughey, who presented her with the award. Reese chose a simple yet chic block gown by Dolce & Gabbana for the event.
The first photos have been added to our Gallery now, with many more to come. Within this post are several really great articles about the night and Reese’s contribution to cinema – be sure to give them a read!!
And of course, congratulations to Reese on this exciting and well-deserved honour!
Reese Witherspoon Praised as ‘Modern Day Feminist’ at American Cinematheque Fete
The American Cinematheque honored Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and DreamWorks Animation honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg at the organization’s annual fundraising gala Friday night at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.
Witherspoon received the American Cinematheque Award, reserved for an extraordinary artist currently making a significant contribution to the art of the Moving Picture. Specifically not a lifetime achievement prize, it is meant for mid-career recognition. Recent honorees have included Matthew McConaughey, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon and Samuel L. Jackson.
“This whole experience is just overwhelming and unbelievable because I’m really just a girl from Nashville who had a dream,” Witherspoon said. “I grew up on backlots and on locations. I had my entire childhood on film. I went through puberty on film, which is something I don’t feel totally great about, but I don’t regret it at all. It’s preserved forever.”
Reese covers the December issue of US Glamour magazine, as one of their Women Of The Year. The cover, photoshoot and interview are now available for us all – read the interview below, and see the photos in our Gallery. We’ll have scans for you asap.
Reese and the other honorees (Caitlyn Jenner, Victoria Beckham, Misty Copeland, Elizabeth Holmes, Cecile Richards, the women of Charleston, and the U.S. women’s national soccer team (TheWrap.com)) will be honoured at an awards ceremony in New York City on November 9th.
Reese Witherspoon on How She’s Shaking Up Hollywood, and Why She Feels Like Gloria Steinem Told Her to Do Legally Blonde
Reese Witherspoon is a Woman of the Year because… “She’s making movies, telling stories, giving women opportunities—all because she wants her daughter to have an example of what it’s like to be a responsible human.”
—comedian and 2011 Woman of the Year Chelsea Handler
Just a few years ago, Reese Witherspoon was pitching a new movie to seven studio heads and requested an extra 30 minutes with each executive to ask one question: What do you have in the works for women? “Only one studio was developing something for a woman in the lead,” Witherspoon, 39, recalls. “They said, ‘We’re happy if you bring us something, but it’s not a part of our development.’ ” Stunned, Witherspoon started obsessing over the deficit—bringing it up at dinner parties and business meetings, to a chorus of women saying, “We know!” Yeah, I’ll bring you something, she decided.
So in 2012, Witherspoon cofounded a production company, Pacific Standard, with producer Bruna Papandrea; the duo began buying up books and scripts with female protagonists to turn into films and TV series. And by 2015, Witherspoon found out just how winning her company’s by-and-about-women formula could be. Wild and Gone Girl, its first two films, featured women not as sidekicks or arm candy but as leading ladies who go through unique personal journeys. Stars Rosamund Pike, Laura Dern, and, yes, Witherspoon herself were all nominated for Oscars—and the films banked more than $400 million worldwide at the box office. With her producing and acting credits, Witherspoon landed on Forbes’ list of highest-paid actresses and on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list. Now she’s breaking into a full-on sprint toward equality: Pacific Standard has 32 projects in the works that put women front and center. “Reese gave me the opportunity with Hot Pursuit where I was producing, where I was a main character, where I got to play a strong, Latina woman,” says Sofía Vergara. “It’s amazing, Reese is such a tiny little thing, but she’s such a strong woman—she knows what she wants, and she gets what she wants.”
With her producing business booming, Witherspoon felt she could take on another new challenge this year: a fashion brand. She launched Draper James, a Southern-inspired clothing and home line, with a flagship store in Nashville. Lest you think she’s superhuman, though, she hasn’t taken an acting gig in over a year, so she could spend time with her husband, Jim Toth, and three kids, Ava, 16, Deacon, 12, and Tennessee, 3. (And yes, they are the cutest.)
Reese Witherspoon on Her Production Company: “We Support New Female Voices in Film”
With such hits as ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Wild,’ the actress and partner Bruna Papandrea’s Pacific Standard is breaking down the boys’ club barrier.
This story first appeared in the Oct. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Reese Witherspoon is known for her lovable comedic characters in Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama and her critically acclaimed work in last year’s Wild and 2005’s Walk the Line, which earned her a best actress Oscar. But it’s her work behind the scenes as a producer through her Pacific Standard banner, which she and Bruna Papandrea founded in 2012, that has made her a true industry force. “One of the best parts of our job is we’re buying books and helping authors navigate the process of getting a book all the way to the screen,” says Witherspoon, 39, who will receive the 29th American Cinematheque Award on Oct. 30.
After the successes of Gone Girl and Wild, are publishers flocking to you at Pacific Standard?
When we bought Gone Girl, we could barely get anyone to read it. But there’s been such an incredible response to our company and what we’re trying to accomplish. Cheryl Strayed went from selling 1.5 million [copies of Wild] before the film was announced to selling 6 million books in two years. That’s huge for an author.
Did you and Bruna know you would work well together right away?
I really wanted a partner, not an employee. It’s a self-funded company, and we purposely chose not to be at one studio because we wanted to be able to take material everywhere. I met with her, and I’m sure she didn’t have any idea if I wanted to just develop material for myself or if I had real perspective about other stories or business acumen. Then I sent her Wild, and she said it was amazing and wanted to start this company. The next project we got within a month was Gone Girl.
Untitled TV Project with Jennifer Aniston
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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