Oddlot Teams With Bruna Papandrea & Reese Witherspoon On ‘The Thing About Jellyfish’
OddLot Entertainment has acquired screen rights to the bestselling Ali Benjamin YA novel The Thing About Jellyfish. OddLot principal Gigi Pritzker will produce with Bruna Papandrea and Reese Witherspoon. Rachel Shane will be executive producer. The script will be written by Molly Smith Metzler, making her feature debut after writing on the shows Casual and Orange Is The New Black. She’s also a playwright whose credits include Elemeno Pea, Close Up Space, and Carve.
The book follows Suzy as she enters seventh grade. After her former best friend dies in a drowning accident, she is convinced the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting — things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory, even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Benjamin’s debut novel was a 2015 National Book Award finalist.
Papandrea and Witherspoon have produced films that include Gone Girl and Wild, as well as the upcoming HBO series Big Little Lies. OddLot co-produced and co-financed the Oscar-nominated Hell Or High Water, and debuted Landline at Sundance where it was acquired by Amazon. OddLot’s other films include Rabbit Hole, The Way, Way Back and Drive.
OddLot, a division of Madison Wells Media, also has the TV series Genius, about the world’s most brilliant innovators, with Ron Howard set to direct a pilot that has Geoffrey Rush playing Albert Einstein.
Metzler is repped by WME and Grandview, Benjamin by CAA, and Witherspoon by CAA and LBI Entertainment.
Reese and her Big Little Lies director Jean-Marc Vallee appear on the cover of the new issue of Variety magazine, to promote their new TV series. Inside is an extensive interview about the production and planning of the show, the characters, and the casting; accompanying this is a sleek new photoshoot with the two. Read the interview and watch a behind the scenes video below, and find the first photos from the spread in our Gallery. We’ll have scans for you asap…
‘Big Little Lies’: Inside Reese Witherspoon’s Twisty Foray Into Television
Blame it on the weather. It was unseasonably cold in Monterey, Calif., when, deep into the 88-day shoot for “Big Little Lies” — after 10 straight days of late nights — the unthinkable happened: The usually unflappable Reese Witherspoon lost her temper. Faced with a difficult emotional scene, she yelled at director Jean-Marc Vallée.
Recalling the incident a few months later over tea at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, the two — who share an easy, effortless camaraderie — laugh at the memory. “I’m so sorry!” she tells him, sheepishly hiding her face in her hands. In his French-accented lilt, Vallée says, “I felt so sad because I knew it wasn’t her.”
But back in that fraught moment on the set, he turned to her and said, “Great! Let’s do it,” pushing her to channel her frustration into her performance. Vallée reports that Witherspoon — perfectly cast as the fast-talking, multitasking mother of two, Madeline Martha Mackenzie, in HBO’s new limited series about the tragic fallout of secrets in a small town — nailed the scene. (Based on the bestseller by Liane Moriarty, the seven-episode series debuts Feb. 19.)
Witherspoon, who serves as executive producer along with co-star Nicole Kidman, handpicked her “Wild” director for this creative reunion. (The 2014 film, based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, chronicles a woman’s journey of self-discovery as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail.) “I feel safe with Jean-Marc — more safe than I’ve ever felt with anybody, because he’s my brother, he’s my partner; I know he’s always going to demand the best, but I’m always going to bring my best,” she says. “We hold each other to those standards. We don’t have any artifice between us.”
It’s not simply the cliché about finishing each other’s sentences (and, yes, they do) but about completing each other’s vision. They may disagree (see above), but starting with “Wild” and now with “Big Little Lies,” they’ve formulated a chemistry that brings out the best in both of them.Continue reading this entry »
Shop the new Spring range at DraperJames.com.
Reese Witherspoon: Why the Time is Right for a Third Legally Blonde Movie
It sounds like we could be really close to seeing a third Legally Blonde movie!
“We’ve thought about it,” Reese Witherspoon exclusively told me at the Elle Women in Television dinner at Chateau Marmont. “I need somebody really clever to come up with a great idea and we’ll do it.
“I do think it’s a good time to do it,” she continued. “I think women need that kind of positivity right now.”
Elle Woods running for president? Sounds like a movie to me!
With that I asked Witherspoon what she thinks it will be like for women with Donald Trump in the White House.
“It’s a great privilege to be a woman in America,” she said. “We have many rights and freedoms that a lot of women don’t have all over the world. I try to celebrate that. I try to live that to its utmost, particularly the freedom of speech, being able to express myself, create shows like this to show how important women are in our world. That’s what I try to focus on.”
The shows that Witherspoon is referring to is her new HBO dramedy series Big Little Lies. She stars and produced the series based on Liane Moriarty’s best-selling novel of the same name. The star-studded cast also includes fellow Elle dinner guests Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern as well as Adam Scott and Alexander Skarsgård. It was directed by Witherspoon’s Wild director Jean-Marc Vallée.
“I think diving deeply into issues that affect women so profoundly, it’s not just a sort of desired mission statement,” Witherspoon said. “It’s sort of a mandate in my life. Women are much more complex than what we’re seeing on screen and I feel it’s important to see how women behave with each other. And I think that’s a unique thing about this show. It’s how women really speak to each other about issues that really affect them.”
Big Little Lies premieres on HBO on Feb. 19.
Also attending the Elle dinner were the magazine’s editor-in-chief Robbie Myers, Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz, Genevieve Angelson, Constance Zimmer, Kathryn Hahn, Lili Reinhart, Lena Waithe, Melora Hardin, Amy Landecker, Lisa Bonet and Kravitz’s Nocturnal Animals actor boyfriend Karl Glusman.
Following the TCA Press Tour, Reese and her Big Little Lies co-stars celebrated their TV show and Elle magazine covers at Elle’s Women In Television Event in LA. The annual event and magazine feature spotlights the must-see female stars of the small screen. Reese looked chic in a dress by David Koma, with Jimmy Choo shoes and Anita Ko jewellery. She was joined by her co-stars Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern, and was also snapped during the event with her How Do You Know? co-star Kathryn Hahn. Find HQ photos from the event in our Gallery:
Reese and her Big Little Lies crew attended a press conference for their new show at the Television Critics Association’s Press Tour in California yesterday. Reese was joined by co-stars Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Zoe Kravitz, director Jean-Marc Vallee, and co-producers Bruna Papandrea, David E. Kelly and Per Saari. The group spoke about the lack of quality roles for women in TV/film, and motherhood – read all the quotes in the articles below. Reese wore a smart orange dress from Draper James, with shoes by Christian Louboutin and Jennifer Meyer jewellery. Find lots of HQ photos from the event in our Gallery:
Reese and Matthew McConaughey taped an interview segment for UK chat show Lorraine that aired this week; here is a clip:
Here are a couple of new TV spots for Big Little Lies: