Reese Witherspoon, Fox 2000 Tackling Vietnam Drama ‘League of Wives’
Fox 2000 and Reese Witherspoon are tackling the story of a little-known but key part of the Vietnam War.
The studio has preemptively acquired The League of Wives, an upcoming non-fiction book by Heath Lee, for Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner to produce an adaptation.
The book, which is to be published by St. Martin’s Press in April 2019, tells of a group of women — wives of military men who would never describe themselves as feminists — that banded together to save their husbands. When their fighter pilot husbands were shot down, captured and imprisoned for years under deplorable conditions during the Vietnam War, the group of well-educated military wives transformed into a league of take-charge lobbyists, human rights activists and even spies determined to do everything in their power to bring their POW and MIA spouses home. By 1973, the group had brought back 115 men.
“At Hello Sunshine, we strive to showcase brave, brilliant female characters, and the women of League of Wives are all of that and more,” Witherspoon, who will produce with Hello Sunshine exec Lauren Levy Neustadter, said Wednesday in a statement. “From the minute I heard about this inspiring true story, I knew it was a perfect fit for us. I’m excited to be partnering with the team at Fox 2000 to bring this special book to life onscreen, and to be giving audiences a glimpse at this meaningful moment in American history.”
Marisa Paiva and Molly Saffron will oversee for Fox 2000.
Lee is a museum curator and writer of women’s history and her book, whose complete title is The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the President, the Pentagon and the Rest of the US Government to Bring Their Husbands Home, is partially based on her museum exhibition on the same subject. She is repped by UTA and Katherine Flynn at Kneerim & Williams.
Take a look back at this past summer’s first-ever all-girl AT&T Hello Sunshine Filmmaker Lab, produced by Fresh Films! 21 teenage girls spent 8 days in Los Angeles filming a documentary under the guidance of mentors and professional creators. Along their journey, the aspiring young filmmakers had the opportunity to meet with some of the most powerful names in Hollywood, from music editor Julie Pearce to cinematographer Kira Kelly. Hear their stories and advice they gave the young female filmmakers!
The first #SheIsEqual Summit was held in New York in September, with the aim of promoting gender equality, increasing the presence of women in media, and ensuring accurate portrayals of women on screen. Reese attended and spoke at the event, talking about her Hello Sunshine brand and the importance of female-driven content. Read more about the summit below, and find photos in our Gallery:
“I’ve done a lot of things for myself, and now it’s time to do more for others and change the story for women in this world. And I started a company. I self-funded it, which was terrifying because I didn’t know if it’s going to do well and quite honestly for a couple of years it wasn’t making any money. But now it’s incredible to change storytelling and to hire female directors and to hire writers with different backgrounds. And I feel enormously proud of the company and thrilled to wake up every morning with that kind of mission in my life. I hope I will leave my industry in a better place where I found it.”
Media company AT&T held their annual Business Summit at the end of September, and Reese was a guest speaker on one of their panels. AT&T co-owns Hello Sunshine with Reese. Reese spoke about equality and diversity, and increasing the presence of women in technology. Read more about the panel below, and find photos in our Gallery:
Reese Witherspoon Producing Comedy ‘Americanized’ About Undocumented Iranian Family From Sara Saedi At ABC
ABC has put in development Americanized, a half-hour comedy inspired by Sara Saedi’s memoir Americanized: Rebel Without A Green Card, from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and ABC Studios, where Hello Sunshine has a broadcast overall deal.
Written by Saedi (iZombie), Americanized tells the story of a loving and off-beat Iranian family who’s been living with a huge secret: they’re undocumented immigrants. Told through an irreverent, heartfelt and a-political lens, the series will give viewers a window into the life of a Middle-Eastern household while exploring the universal truths that bond every type of “American” family.
In the book, Saedi shares her story of growing up in San Jose, California in a loving Iranian family and her shock when she discovers she and the rest of her family are undocumented.
Saidi executive produces with Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Lauren Levy Neustadter. ABC Studios is the studio.
The deal comes nine years after ABC took a stab at an Iranian family comedy with Funny In Farsi, based on Firoozeh Dumas’s “Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America.” The project went to a pilot directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, marking the first pilot order for producer Aaron Kaplan, but did not make the cut to series.
In the past few years, ABC has been looking to expand its family comedy brand to better represent different sections of American society. The network successfully launched an African-American family comedy with Black-ish, an Asian American family comedy with Fresh Off the Boat and also tried to find another hit Latinx family comedy with Cristela. In addition to Americanized, ABC also is developing multi-generational Latinx family comedy Food and Familia from Peter Murrieta and Overbrook Entertainment starring Danny Trejo whose life inspired it.
In addition to the CW’s iZombie, Saedi previously wrote for Fox’s The Goodwin Games. She is now on the upcoming ABC/ABC Studios drama Grand Hotel. Saedi is repped by Gersh and Nacelle Company.
Hello Sunshine’s series portfolio includes a limited series at Hulu from Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller Little Fires Everywhere; a comedy series for Apple created by Colleen McGuinness and inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld’s short-story collection You Think It, I’ll Say It; Apple series Are You Sleeping, executive produced by and starring Octavia Spencer; a limited series adaptation of the novel Daisy Jones & The Six for Amazon; and an Untitled Morning Show series at Apple produced by and starring Jennifer Aniston and Witherspoon. The company is repped by CAA and Gretchen Rush.
Inc.com have published their list of their 100 most impressive female entrepreneurs, and Reese is included:
100 Women Making Money, Creating Jobs and Changing the World
They are scientists, creatives, MBAs, data-nerds, and visionaries. For some, it’s the first time they’ve ever started a company. Others have been at this for decades. The Female Founders 100 are the entrepreneurs Inc. has been most intrigued by in the last year, whose smarts are rattling industries far and wide.
Hello Sunshine/Draper James
Every year seems like Witherspoon’s year, but the past few set records. In 2016, she launched Hello Sunshine, a new storytelling vehicle that aims to change the narrative around women–then went on to produce, star in, and win Emmys for HBO’s Big Little Lies while running her fashion and homewares brand, Draper James. Whether it’s through Hulu and Apple TV–she’s locked in development deals with both–her own on-demand TV channel, or her book club rivaling Oprah’s, Witherspoon is channeling her smarts and financial power to fix the gender imbalance in entertainment.
September 12, 2018 • Category: Hello Sunshine, News & Gossip •
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Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and WME Partner to Bring “Together Live,” An All-Female Live Storytelling Event, to Cities Across North America
Hello Sunshine and Together Live are partnering to bring a touring live event experience to cities across North America featuring authentic storytelling and inspiring conversations for and by intersectional, intergenerational women.
Appearances in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Toronto, Cincinnati, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Minneapolis, Fayetteville, AR, and Austin will go on sale September 28th.
Beginning today, September 10th through September 16th, anyone interested in purchasing the Presale Tickets can register at www.TogetherLive.com to receive an invitation along with the presale password to purchase tickets before the general public goes on sale September 28th.
Presale tickets will be available to those with presale codes beginning September 18th; and tickets for the general public are on-sale September 28th.
September 10, 2018 • Category: Hello Sunshine, News & Gossip •
Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine to Launch Female-Centric Podcast Network
Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine to Launch Female-Centric Podcast Network
Reese Witherspoon and her Hello Sunshine production company are making a push into podcasts.
Hello Sunshine has inked an exclusive partnership with Rooster Teeth to power the genre studio’s network of female-centric podcasts, known as The Beam.
As part of the deal, Hello Sunshine will expand its slate of podcast programming. The company already offers How It Is, which tells the personal stories of high-profile women. The show, hosted by actress and author Diane Guerrero, will return for its second season in October as part of the lineup for The Beam. Hello Sunshine is also launching the first season of the half-hour My Best Breakup, hosted by Maeve Higgins. It also will debut in October.
“Rooster Teeth’s track record in effectively connecting brands with specific audiences makes them our perfect partner as we work together to expand the reach and influence of original and distinctive female voices in podcasting,” Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden said Wednesday in a statement.
The two companies are connected via a corporate owner. Rooster Teeth is owned by WarnerMedia division Otter Media, which also holds a minority ownership stake in Hello Sunshine.
Rooster Teeth’s podcast sales division, The Roost, will handle sales and support for The Beam’s lineup.The Roost also works with such podcasts as Rooster Teeth Podcast, Dude Soup and Off Topic.
“It is a great privilege for us to welcome Hello Sunshine to The Roost network of creators,” said Rooster Teeth senior vp business development Alan Abdine. “Their content is powerful, personal, vital, and engaging, and we can’t wait to support their continued growth and evolution.”
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