Archive for the ‘Role Rumors’ Category
Reese Witherspoon Sells Divorce Drama to ABC
‘Fear the Walking Dead’ writer Meaghan Oppenheimer will pen the script for ‘Please Don’t Go.’
ABC is looking to Reese Witherspoon for a divorce drama.
The network has picked up a script for Please Don’t Go, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Created by Meaghan Oppenheimer (Fear the Walking Dead), the project follows the personal and professional life of a ruthless divorce attorney in Dallas. Raised in the trailer parks of Texas, she has left behind a life of struggle amid squalor, working her way into a corner office and mansion in Dallas’ most prestigious neighborhood. But beneath her facade of togetherness, she’s plagued by self-destructive tendencies and long-hidden family secrets that begin to unravel her life.
Oppenheimer will exec produce the ABC Studios entry alongside Witherspoon and her studio-based Pacific Standard topper Bruna Papandrea.
Please Don’t Go marks the latest sale this development season for Pacific Standard. The company also is readying a romantic mystery drama from Rob Long for ABC and is among the producers attached to HBO’s Big Little Lies, in which Witherspoon will star.
Oppenheimer (The Remains) is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Morris Yorn. Witherspoon is with CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson.
Divorce comedies have been one of the bigger trends to emerge this development season as broadcasters look for the family dynamic that isn’t currently on the air. ABC is teaming with romance novelist Nicholas Sparks and super-producer Shonda Rhimes for two different divorce comedies. HBO, meanwhile, has Sarah Jessica Parker comedy series Divorce coming in 2016.
November 27, 2015 • Category: Pacific Standard
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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.
November 1, 2015 • Category: "Wild"
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Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon & Laura Dern To Produce Drama Project For HBO Based On Book By ‘Wild’ Author Cheryl Strayed
Reese Witherspoon & Laura Dern To Produce Drama Project For HBO Based On Book By ‘Wild’ Author Cheryl Strayed
Wild stars Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern have reteamed for another screen adaptation of a book by Wild author Cheryl Strayed, this time for TV. HBO has put in development Tiny Beautiful Things, a drama series based on Strayed’s bestselling 2012 book of the same name, a collection of essays compiled from Strayed’s Dear Sugar advice column. Strayed and her husband, filmmaker Brian Lindstrom, will write the TV adaptation, set to explore love, loss, lust and life through the eyes of a Portland family who live by the mantra that the truth will never kill you.
Witherspoon, Dern, Strayed and Lindstrom will executive produce with Witherspoon’s producing partner at Pacific Standard, Bruna Papandrea, as well as Jayme Lecheryl. Wild was a passion project for Witherspoon and Papandrea who optioned Strayed’s memoir months before it was published. In the 2014 Fox Searchlight film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, Witherspoon portrayed Strayed and Dern played her mother. The movie was well received, with both Witherspoon and Dern earning Oscar nominations earlier this year.
HBO already is hosting a Wild mini-reunion with the limited series Big Little Lies, in which Witherspoon is starring alongside Nicole Kidman, with Witherspoon and Papandrea executive producing and Vallée in negotiations to direct.
October 16, 2015 • Category: Pacific Standard
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Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon, Mila Kunis Series in Development at ABC
Reese Witherspoon, Mila Kunis Series in Development at ABC
Reese Witherspoon and Mila Kunis are getting behind the camera for two potential ABC series. The network is developing dramas with both women attached as exec producers, Variety has learned.
Kunis will serve as an EP on the television adaptation of “Black Stiletto,” based on the novels of the same name, while Witherspoon will work on an untitled romantic mystery from “Cheers” alum Rob Long.
“Black Stiletto,” inspired by Raymond Benson’s book series, follows a young woman’s evolution into a modern day hero when a family secret from the past is revealed and puts the only family she’s ever known in imminent danger.
Kunis will exec produce by way of her Orchard Farm Productions banner with her partners Cami Curtis, Susan Curtis, and Lisa Sterbakov, plus Tony Eldridge and Nancy Moonves. Kunis inked a first-look deal with ABC Studios, which will produce “Black Stiletto,” in late 2014 when she launched her production company. Scribe Javier Grillo Marxuach (“Lost,” “The 100”) sold the script to ABC.
For Kunis, “Black Stiletto” marks her television producing debut. The “Black Swan” and “That ’70s Show” alum was a producer on the 2014 flick “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn.”
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October 16, 2015 • Category: Pacific Standard
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Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon Developing Thriller ‘The Dry’ as a Movie
Reese Witherspoon Developing Thriller ‘The Dry’ as a Movie
Reese Witherspoon is developing Jane Harper’s Australian crime thriller “The Dry” as a movie.
Witherspoon has acquired the films rights to Harper’s debut novel, set amidst an epic drought in which a farmer turns his gun on his family and then himself in a rural community — prompting the return of an investigator who was the farmer’s childhood friend and left town after being rejected by the community.
Harper is a business writer for the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne. Her book won the $15,000 Victorian Premier Literary Award for An Unpublished Manuscript earlier this year.
Witherspoon will team with partner Bruna Papandrea at their Pacific Standard banner. The duo formed Pacific Standard in 2012 in order to remedy the absence of movies with female protagonists.
Since then, they have actively acquired film rights to novels and produced “Wild” and “Gone Girl.” Pacific Standard is currently developing Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s “Ashley’s War” at Fox 2000, “Big Little Lies,” “The Engagements,” “Pennyroyal’s Princess Boot Camp,” “The Outliers,” Wendy Walker’s “All Is Not Forgotten,” Ruth Ware’s “In a Dark, Dark Wood” and Garth Callaghan’s “Napkin Notes.”
Witherspoon is handled by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush and Kaller. Harper is repped by Intellectual Property Group’s Jerry Kalajian and Clare Forster at Curtis Brown Australia and Writers House’s Daniel Lazar.
Reese Witherspoon Developing ‘In a Dark, Dark Wood’ Movie
Reese Witherspoon is developing a movie based on Ruth Ware’s mystery novel “In a Dark, Dark Wood.”
New Line Cinema has acquired the film rights from the Gotham Group, which will produce with Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard banner. Witherspoon will team with partner Bruna Papandrea. The duo produced “Wild,” “Gone Girl” and “Hot Pursuit,” and has a dozen projects in the works.
Ellen Goldsmith-Vein (“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”) will produce for The Gotham Group. Gotham’s Lindsay Williams and Shari Smiley will serve in producorial roles.
“In a Dark, Dark Wood” is the second book-to-film collaboration between Pacific Standard and New Line, which teamed up on Garth Callaghan’s “Napkin Notes” earlier this year. The book was on the New York Times, USA Today and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists when it debuted in August.
The story centers on a reclusive writer who receives an invitation to a bachelorette party of her best friend from high school, who she hasn’t seen in 10 years.
Richard Brener, Andrea Johnston and Walter Hamada are overseeing the project for New Line. CAA brokered the deal on behalf of Gotham Group and Pacific Standard.
Witherspoon and Papandea formed Pacific Standard in 2012 in order to remedy the absence of movies with female protagonists. They are currently developing Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s “Ashley’s War” at Fox 2000, “Big Little Lies,” “The Engagements,” “Pennyroyal’s Princess Boot Camp,” “The Outliers” and Wendy Walker’s “All Is Not Forgotten.”
Witherspoon is handled by CAA, LBI Entertainment, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush and Kaller. Ware is repped by literary agent Eve White and Gotham Group.
October 5, 2015 • Category: Role Rumors
Comments Off on Paramount Pulls In Alexander Payne’s ‘Downsizing’ With Matt Damon, Reese Witherspoon
Paramount Pulls In Alexander Payne’s ‘Downsizing’ With Matt Damon, Reese Witherspoon
Alexander Payne is heading back to Nebraska and to Paramount for his next film, Downsizing. The project was previously set up at Fox and the project (and trio) was reported exclusively by Deadline several months ago here. In what marks the third collaboration with the studio, Payne, Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon will pull together to do the story about an Omaha man who joins the throngs of people undergoing a new process that reduces them to a tiny fraction of their size. What? Yeah, that’s the logline. The guy then moves to one of the many communities of small people that are sprouting up around the world. Social satire.
The film will be produced by Payne and Mark Johnson and will begin production in the spring of 2016. The studio is looking for a fourth quarter, 2017 release.
The project was scripted by Payne with Jim Taylor, with whom Payne shared the Adapted Screenplay Oscar with for Sideways and collaborated on About Schmidt. This repairs Payne with Witherspoon’ who starred as a prissy but ferociously ambitious student set on winning a high school office to the dismay of teacher Matthew Broderick in the satire Election.
Payne and Witherspoon are represented by CAA. Damon is represented by WME.
August 11, 2015 • Category: Pacific Standard
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Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon to Star in, Produce Lionsgate’s Supernatural Thriller ‘Cold’
Reese Witherspoon to Star in, Produce Lionsgate’s Supernatural Thriller ‘Cold’
Lionsgate has acquired Cold, an original pitch by Bill Marsilii with Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea producing through their Pacific Standard Films banner. Witherspoon also is attached to star. A source pegs the deal at mid- to high-six figures.
The plot is being kept under wraps but has been described as a dark thriller with supernatural elements.
Lionsgate’s Eric Feig and Gillian Bohrer were the first buyers to hear the pitch, and quickly bid on the material.
Since its launch in 2012, Pacific Standard has been on a tear, scooping up a number of best-selling female-centric books like Gone Girl and Wild (both scored best actress nominations for stars Rosamund Pike and Witherspoon, respectively). The company is already in business with Lionsgate on a big-screen adaptation of best-seller Luckiest Girl Alive. Among the other Pacific Standard projects in development are Ashley’s War at Fox 2000 and All Is Not Forgotten at Warner Bros.
Witherspoon and Papandrea also are behind Disney’s Tink, a live-action take on the Peter Pan character Tinker Bell (Witherspoon will star in the titular role).
This week, the company inked an overall deal at ABC Studios (Pacific Standard is producing the limited series Big Little Lies, a straight-to-series order at HBO that Witherspoon will star in opposite Nicole Kidman).
Marsilii is currently adapting the sci-fi action comic Sebastian X at Voltage, with Gale Anne Hurd producing and Martin Campbell attached to direct. He co-wrote, with Terry Rossio, the Tony Scott-directed Deja Vu, starring Denzel Washington, which set the record for highest spec script sale ever when Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer acquired it in 2004 for $5 million.
Marsilii’s other projects include 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo and Lightspeed (both at Disney) as well as Blood of the Innocent at Lotus.
Marsilii is repped by ICM Partners and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman.
Witherspoon is handled by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.
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