July 9, 2015 • Category: Career, Video Updates •
Comments Off on Inside Harper Lee’s Lost Novel Go Set a Watchman: Reese Witherspoon and Others Weigh In
Inside Harper Lee’s Lost Novel Go Set a Watchman: Reese Witherspoon and Others Weigh In
As the literary world awaits Tuesday’s publication of Harper Lee’s long-awaited second novel Go Set a Watchman, the prequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, Yahoo Global News anchor Katie Couric sat down with Reese Witherspoon and others involved in the project.
The actress, who has been tapped to record the audio version of the forthcoming novel, tells Couric she’s in awe of Go Set a Watchman, which features Mockingbird’s Scout as an adult woman living in New York City in the 1950s.
“It shocked me, as being a modern woman in 2015, reading some of the words. I had to keep reminding myself it was written in the ’50s, and these were the complex issues that people of the day were dealing with,” she says. “And old attitudes and modern thinking was just evolving about race relations in our country. So I think you will feel all that complexity in the piece.”
Lee’s long-lost manuscript, which will be the first work she’s published since 1960, was discovered in a safe deposit box last August by the author’s lawyer, Tonja Carter, and later passed along to publishing house HarperCollins, the publisher of To Kill a Mockingbird.
“Nobody quite knew where it was. The author, Harper Lee, didn’t know where it was,” says Jonathan Burnham, senior vice president and publisher of Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Burnham says the book was unedited when Lee’s literary agent and Carter came to them after consulting with Lee. “Jean Louise, who is Scout as a grown woman, is a 26-year-old girl working in New York City who goes back to her home town of Maycomb and visits her father, strikes up old friendships, visits characters that we remember from Kill a Mockingbird,” he explains. “It’s the story of that particular visit and what happens on that visit.”
Lee’s first novel, published in 1960, was an instant sensation, winning her a Pulitzer Prize. It was later made into an Academy Award-winning film.
“I thought she was extremely courageous to write that book about her hometown,” says Mary Tucker, a retired African-American schoolteacher from Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, who lived through segregation. “Of course, she said it was fiction but we could identify some of the characters from people in town.”
Rick Bragg, a former New York Times journalist and bestselling author from Alabama adds of Lee, “She wrote the story that explained us to ourselves. A lot of us, you know, were not piebald racists. A lot of us knew that the cruelty that came to light in our region was dead wrong. But she put it in a story.”
July 1, 2015 • Category: Pacific Standard, Role Rumors •
Comments Off on Abi Morgan To Adapt ‘Ashley’s War’ For Fox 2000 And Reese Witherspoon
Abi Morgan To Adapt ‘Ashley’s War’ For Fox 2000 And Reese Witherspoon
Fox 2000 has set Abi Morgan to adapt the Gayle Tzemach Lemmon book Ashley’s War: The Untold Story Of A Team of Women Soldiers On The Special Ops Battlefield. The studio, led by Elizabeth Gabler, won an auction in March at a time when several military-themed books were selling after the outsized grosses of American Sniper. Pacific Standard’s Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea are producing with Natalie Krinsky, and the expectation is that Witherspoon will play a major role. Book tells the story of the creation by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command of a pilot program that allowed elite women soldiers on the battlefield with Green Berets and Army Rangers in Afghanistan in 2010. The unit, CST-2, brought together a hand-picked group of women from the Army, and that included 1st Lt. Ashley White, who would become the first CST member killed in action.
Morgan is best known for scripting the Steve McQueen-directed Shame, and the Meryl Streep-as-Maggie Thatcher drama The Iron Lady. She followed with the Sarah Gavron-directed Suffragette, which stars Streep, Helena Bonham Carter, Carey Mulligan and Brendan Gleeson, with Focus releasing the film on October 23. She co-wrote the Suzanne Bier-directed Rules Of Inheritance, is adapting Shakespeare’s Taming Of The Shrew and is working on the feature version of Little House On The Prairie for producer Scott Rudin and Sony.
Morgan is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group.
June 26, 2015 • Category: Pacific Standard, Role Rumors •
Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon Developing ‘Napkin Notes’ Memoir for the Screen
Reese Witherspoon Developing ‘Napkin Notes’ Memoir for the Screen
Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea’s Pacific Standard banner is developing a film adaptation for New Line of Garth Callaghan’s memoir “Napkin Notes: Make Lunch Meaningful, Life Will Follow.”
Witherspoon and Papandrea will produce “Napkin Notes,” which New Line optioned last September. Mike Binder, whose credits include “Black or White,” “Reign Over Me” and “The Upside of Anger,” has come on to adapt the script. Toby Emmerich, Andrea Johnston and Richard Brener are overseeing for New Line.
Callaghan’s book, published by HarperCollins, details how he began writing short inspirational notes on napkins to put in his daughter Emma’s lunchbox daily to connect with his daughter. The practice took on far more significance after Callaghan was diagnosed first with kidney cancer and subsequently received four other cancer diagnoses.
“Napkin Notes” is Pacific Standard’s ninth development project. Witherspoon and Papandea formed Pacific Standard in 2012 in order to remedy the absence of movies with female protagonists. They have since produced “Wild,” “Gone Girl” and “Hot Pursuit.”
The banner has been developing Jessica Knoll’s “Luckiest Girl Alive” at Lionsgate, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s “Ashley’s War” at Fox 2000, S.J. Watson’s thriller novel “Second Life” at Warner Bros. and Maureen Sherry Klinsky’s upcoming novel “Opening Belle” with an eye to Witherspoon starring in the Wall Street comedy. Pacfiic Standard is also developing an adaptation of the novel “Big Little Lies,” “The Engagements,” “Pennyroyal’s Princess Boot Camp” and “The Outliers.”
Witherspoon is repped by CAA and Rick Yorn at LBI Entertainment. CAA, which packaged the deal, represents Pacific Standard and Callaghan.
News about “Napkin Notes” was first reported by the Tracking Board.
The Teen Choice Awards nominees have recently been announced, and Reese has scored two nominations – one each for Wild and Hot Pursuit. See the full list of nominees here. You can vote online from later today at www.teenchoice.com/
The Teen Choice Awards will air on August 16th.
Choice Movie Actress: Drama
Blake Lively – The Age of Adaline
Britt Robertson – The Longest Ride
Felicity Jones – True Story/The Theory of Everything
Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Kristen Stewart – Still Alice
Chloe Grace Moretz – If I Stay
Choice Movie Actress: Comedy
Anna Kendrick – Pitch Perfect 2
Emma Stone – Aloha
Mae Whitman- The Duff
Raini Rodriguez – Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Rebel Wilson – Pitch Perfect 2
Reese Witherspoon – Hot Pursuit
June 10, 2015 • Category: Pacific Standard, Role Rumors •
Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon Bullish On Wall Street Comedy ‘Opening Belle’
Reese Witherspoon Bullish On Wall Street Comedy ‘Opening Belle’
Reese Witherspoon is developing a big-screen take on the upcoming novel Opening Belle, which also could be her next starring vehicle. She and her Pacific Standard partner Bruna Papandrea are set to produce the story about a mother of three trying to balance home life with her Wall Street career during the year before the financial meltdown. Maureen Sherry Kinsky’s book, due out this year from Simon & Schuster, is based loosely on her experiences as a managing director at Bear Stearns.
Witherspoon is coming off a Best Actress Oscar nomination for 2014’s Wild — and a critical and commercial stumble with last month’s Hot Pursuit, in which she starred with Sofia Vergara. Pacific Standard also produced that film, along with Wild and last year’s David Fincher-Ben Affleck thriller Gone Girl. The company also is producing Big Little Lies, an HBO limited series in which Witherspoon stars with fellow Oscar winner Nicole Kidman. The actress-producer is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment, and Hansen Jacobson.
The Opening Belle story was reported first by the Tracking Board.
Here’s an interesting interview with Reese’s Pacific Standard partner Bruna Papandrea; Bruna talks about the work she and Reese and are doing, including some of their upcoming projects. Below are the parts that specifically mention Reese/Pacific Standard, click the link at the bottom to read the full article.
Why Australian producer Bruna Papandrea is one of the most powerful women in Hollywood
BRUNA Papandrea is waiting patiently for me in the bar of a slick Sydney hotel.
Hotel guests and staff walk straight past her without batting an eyelid – they’re more interested in the C-list celebrity loitering in the lobby.
But the star-spotters have it all wrong – it’s Papandrea they should be excited about catching a glimpse of.
She might not be a household name, but the 43-year-old Aussie is one of the most powerful women in Hollywood.
Along with business partner Reese Witherspoon, Papandrea owns production company Pacific Standard, and is behind two of the biggest movies of the past eight months: Gone Girl and Wild.
Pacific Standard’s special remit is to create more roles for women in film on both sides of the camera.
“I have a lot of friends who are actresses,” explains Papandrea of their decision to start the company and focus on creating roles for women.
“I’ve read scripts for them for many years and have always been heartbroken at the type of role they were being offered – just girlfriends or wives.
“They weren’t complex women, not like [the male roles], who are at the centre of movies.”
When Witherspoon sat next to Papandrea at a dinner party and mentioned she was no longer being offered any interesting parts, Papandrea was shocked.
“It was astounding to me. If these roles weren’t being developed for big movie stars, then who were they being offered to? Who was developing them? I thought [in order to make interesting films about women] we also need more female directors, writers, technicians and cinematographers.”
Reese Witherspoon Calls ‘Cruel Intentions’ Reunion ‘So Much Fun’
Reese Witherspoon joined “Extra” at this weekend’s Produced By Conference in Los Angeles, where she talked about how much fun she had reuniting with her “Cruel Intentions” co-stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair.
They were all at Rockwell Table & Stage’s “The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Cruel Intentions” in Los Angeles last week. Reese said, “Sarah, Selma and I, we knew all the lines.”
A photo posted by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on
The trio documented their girls’ night on social media, with Sarah and Selma even reenacting their famous onscreen kiss in a pic that went viral. Reese revealed she didn’t realize what Sarah and Selma were doing. “I didn’t even know they were doing it. They’re cute, they’re such nice girls, and we had so much fun sort of reliving the old days.”
Reese has starred in countless movies since the 1999 release of “Cruel Intentions,” and recently took on the role of producer with such films as “Gone Girl” and “Wild.”
Up next for the Oscar winner is working with producing partner Bruna Papandrea on the live-action film “Tink,” based on the beloved Disney character, Tinkerbell.
“We’re excited,” Reese said about the film that she will also star in as the title character. “It’s our biggest family film we’ve thought up.”
Reese Witherspoon on Portraying Hillary Clinton, Finding Great Roles for Women
Reese Witherspoon offered plenty of encouragement to fellow producers on Saturday morning by stressing the need to focus on the female audience — as demonstrated by her recent producing efforts, “Wild,” “Gone Girl” and “Hot Pursuit.”
“Women make up 50 percent of the population,” she said. “We should make up 50% of the movies we see.”
Speaking at the Producers Guild of America’s 7th annual “Produced By” conference on the Paramount lot, Witherspoon said the success of her Pacific Standard company stems partly from Hollywood knowing what to expect from the shingle. Witherspoon noted that she and partner Bruna Papandrea created the banner out of frustration with a lack of interesting roles for actresses.
“It is great to have specificity because people know what to send you,” Witherspoon noted. “We are looking for great female parts.”
But Witherspoon also noted that Pacific Standard wants to succeed on the basis on story. “The films we make are not chick flicks,” she insisted. “‘Wild’ is just about a human being.”
Speaking to a capacity crowd of more than 500 at the Paramount Theater, Witherspoon also addressed the question of whether she’d ever portray Hillary Clinton. She responded by saying that she’s been asked to do so several times and wryly pointed out that she portrayed a young version of Clinton as Tracy Flick in 1998’s “Election.”
“When I did meet Hillary Clinton she said, ‘Everybody talks to me about Tracy Flick in ‘Election,’” Witherspoon added.
Asked by moderator Will Packer if they believed they had made any mistakes with “Wild,” Witherspoon responded: “Shooting 55 locations in 30 days was probably not the best way to start, but we were determined.”
Both producers noted that they were also pregnant at the time. Papandrea said being a mother is not a disadvantage.
“I make better decisions because when I’m leaving my children, I want to do something I love,” she said.
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