Reese Witherspoon partners with Audible to develop new audio story productions
Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, who has recently emerged as a leading film and television producer, is partnering her popular book club with Amazon-owned audio content provider Audible, it was announced today.
Witherspoon’s book club, X Hello Sunshine, an arm of her multiplatform media company which produces feature films and television shows, will collaborate with Audible to create original audio productions in addition to showcasing audiobook stories that are centered around complex female characters.
The first month for Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine on Audible will be June. The first Audible Original by Hello Sunshine will be announced later in 2018.
“When I started Reese’s book club, I wanted to highlight stories with women at the center and I’m so excited to deliver on that mission,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “With our busy lives, it can be hard to find the time to read. That’s why I am excited to work with Audible to provide a fun way to listen to beautiful stories in your free time.”
Witherspoon has starred in a number of literary adaptations, appearing in movie versions of Tom Perrotta’s “Election”and William Makepeace Thackeray’s “Vanity Fair” early on in her career. More recently, she produced film versions of Gillian Flynn’s novel “Gone Girl” and Cheryl Strayed’s memoir “Wild,” starring in and earning an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for the latter in 2015.
Witherspoon also achieved success in television, producing and starring in HBO’s 2017 miniseries “Big Little Lies,” based on Liane Moriarty’s novel.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2016, Witherspoon said her desire to produce and star in literary adaptations grew out of a frustration with Hollywood: “My husband said, ‘Honey, you read more books than anybody I know. Why don’t you just option some and turn them into movies?’….authors are my rock stars.”
Among Hello Sunshine’s upcoming adaptations are a limited series for Hulu based on Celeste Ng’s bestselling novel, “Little Fires Everywhere,” a series for Apple TV starring Kristen Wiig that is inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld’s recent short-story collection “You Think It, I’ll Say It,” and “Are You Sleeping” starring Octavia Spencer, which is an adaptation of the true-crime novel by Kathleen Barber.
Witherspoon is also developing “Something in the Water,” based on Catherine Steadman’s novel, and psychological thriller “A White Lie,” starring Zendaya and adapted from Karin Tanabe’s novel “The Gilded Years.”
“We are thrilled to be working with Reese,” said Audible CEO and founder Don Katz, “who has shown time and again her eye for identifying unforgettable stories, and with Hello Sunshine, a brand known for its creative storytelling, to create what is sure to be a rich palette of captivating spoken-word performances our millions of listeners will love.”
Witherspoon has also developed and optioned the screen rights to Wendy Walker’s novel “All Is Not Forgotten,” Barbie biography “Barbie and Ruth” by Robin Gerber, and “In a Dark, Dark Wood,” based on the thriller novel by Ruth Ware.