Coronavirus: Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington on canceled premiere, ‘social distancing’
Coronavirus has thrown a wrench into kickoff plans for Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington’s upcoming Hulu miniseries “Little Fires Everywhere.”
The series, based on the bestselling 2017 novel by Celeste Ng, has received rapturous reviews ahead of its March 18 release, with USA TODAY writing that “the two producer/stars not only meet but easily exceed towering expectations.”
“Fires” charts what happens when the delicate balance in the postcard-perfect suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio, is thrown out of whack by the clash of two families. Set in 1998, the show watches white, rich, starkly blonde Elena Richardson (Witherspoon) and her husband, Bill (Joshua Jackson) cope with the arrival of artist and single mother Mia Warren (Washington) and her daughter Pearl (Lexi Underwood).
A splashy premiere was planned for Thursday night in Los Angeles, but has been canceled, like all major public events in Hollywood and beyond, in the wake of the coronavirus spread.
Today, the show soldiered on with its press day in Beverly Hills. Many of those interviews moved to phones (including this interview, at USA TODAY’s request). Media attending were asked by publicists to “please refrain from shaking hands/selfies/touching on-site. Additionally, should anyone feel they may be getting sick, we respectfully ask that the outlet send a different press member in your place.”
Witherspoon and Washington spoke jointly with USA TODAY, with more of the interview to follow next week.
Question: How are you feeling today about the coronavirus news?
Reese Witherspoon: I’m feeling everything that everyone out there is feeling: Confusion, stress. I’m trying to look for the most scientific facts and not listen to too much opinion. I feel flooded by opinion. (I’m) talking to friends who I find very grounding. But Kerry and I are similar in that we both have young children and older parents and (are) just navigating that thoughtfully.
Kerry Washington: As Reese said, (I’m) trying to gather the information that we need to get in order to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, but also remembering that your stress level can impact your immunity, and so to try and be calm as well.
Witherspoon: It’s never happened in my lifetime. Talking to my mother and hearing a historical perspective is interesting from her. But I think we’re all in new territory.
Q: What are your thoughts on the cancellation of tonight’s “Little Fires Everywhere” premiere?
Witherspoon: (It was) absolutely necessary. Social distancing is critical right now as we are trying to protect our most vulnerable.
Q: Is it true that the second season of “The Morning Show” is now on hiatus for two weeks?
Witherspoon: Yes that’s correct. We were filming. I shot yesterday and then Apple made the decision last night. And I think it was the right one.
March 15, 2020 • Category: Hello Sunshine, News & Gossip, Producing •
Comments Off on Sony, Elizabeth Gabler & Reese Witherspoon Set Scribe For ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’: ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’s Lucy Alibar
Sony, Elizabeth Gabler & Reese Witherspoon Set Scribe For ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’: ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’s Lucy Alibar
Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild scribe Lucy Alibar has been set to adapt the 3000 Pictures/Hello Sunshine film adaptation of Delia Owens’ New York Times bestselling novel Where the Crawdads Sing.
Published by the Penguin Random House imprint G.P. Putnam’s Sons in August 2018., the novel has been a publishing juggernaut, on the bestseller list for 75 weeks with 4.5 million copies sold. Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter will produce for Hello Sunshine. Witherspoon’s endorsement of the Owens’ first novel on her Reese’s Book Club in September 2018 helped put sales of the book into overdrive.
Gabler and Erin Siminoff will oversee for Gabler’s newly launched Sony Pictures label, 3000 Pictures. That shingle is the partnership among Gabler, HarperCollins\ and Sony Pictures designed to source literary material, mainly from the HarperCollins catalog, for all platforms.
Alibar got an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for co-writing with director Benh Zeitlin 2012’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, an adaptation of her play Juicy and Delicious. She most recently adapted her original play Christmas and Jubilee Behold the Meteor Shower into Troop Zero. That Escape Artists-produced film stars Viola Davis Jim Gaffigan, Allison Janney, and McKenna Grace and it premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
She seems a strong fit for Where the Crawdads Sing, which centers on a young woman named Kya. Abandoned by her family, Kya raises herself all alone in the marshes outside of her small town. When her former boyfriend is found dead, Kya instantly is branded by the local townspeople and law enforcement as the prime suspect for his murder. Equal parts haunting crime thriller and coming-of-age story, Where the Crawdads Sing explores the universal yearning for connection, formative first loves and an inner strength one can summon, no matter the obstacles.
“Delia Owens has created a heroine whose strength, perseverance and courage embodies the female character driven stories we are so excited to tell,” Witherspoon said. “We’re thrilled to have Lucy join the team of incredible women who are bringing Kya’s story to life on screen.”
Alibar is represented by Gersh, Manage-ment and Jackoway Austen; Owens is with CAA and Russel Galen of Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. Hello Sunshine is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson.
Hulu Cancels ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Premiere Over Coronavirus Concerns
With the coronavirus pandemic rapidly spreading in the U.S., Hollywood has been canceling large gatherings to help slow the outbreak. The latest event to be pulled over the coronavirus is the March 12 premiere of Hulu’s new limited series Little Fires Everywhere starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. The streamer just notified attendees of the cancellation in an email.
“As you are all aware, the current state of affairs has altered the daily lives of many people, including our cast and crew. After hearing from many of you, and out of an abundance of caution, we are canceling tomorrow’s Little Fires Everywhere premiere screening and celebration,” Hulu said in the email. “We are extremely proud of this series and can’t wait to share it with you when it debuts on Hulu on March 18. Thank you for your understanding.”
Based on Celeste Ng’s bestselling book, Little Fires Everywhere premieres March 18.
Developed and written by Casual‘s Liz Tigelaar, Little Fires Everywhere follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. The story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Joshua Jackson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jade Pettyjohn, Jordan Elsass, Gavin Lewis, Megan Stott, Lexi Underwood and Huang Lu also star.
The series is produced by Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, Washington’s Simpson Street and ABC Signature Studios, a part of Disney Television Studios. Tigelaar serves as creator, showrunner and executive producer. The series is also executive produced by Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Lauren Levy Neustadter, Pilar Savone and Lynn Shelton. Author Celeste Ng serves as producer.
The trailer for Reese’s upcoming wildlife documentary series Fierce Queens was released today, to mark International Women’s Day. Reese narrates the series, which premieres on April 6th. Quibi is a new platform that describes itself as ‘Original content in 10 minutes or less. Designed for your phone.’
Reese made another appearance at the TCA Winter Tour today, this time to preview The Morning Show! She was joined by Jennifer Aniston, Billy Crudup, producer and director Mimi Leder, and producer Michael Ellenberg. They talked about how the show has been received, the culture portrayed within the show, and season 2. Read reports from the panel below.
We’ll have a full set of pictures for you asap, but for now here’s a preview: HQ photos have been added to the Gallery:
‘The Morning Show’ Team on Steve Carell’s Season 2 Future, Season 1 Criticism
Although the first season of “The Morning Show” ended on Steve Carell’s former news anchor character, Mitch Kessler, who was fired at the top of the season amid sexual misconduct allegations, finally feeling the weight of what he did, there is no guarantee the second season will see him learn, grow or be around at all.
Although executive producer Michael Ellenberg said at the Television Critics Assn. press tour panel for the Apple TV Plus drama “certainly picks up where we ended” in terms of the fallout that will have to come after anchors Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) and Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) outed their network for knowing more about the allegations against Mitch earlier than they had led on, when it comes to Mitch himself, Ellenberg said they are still discussing if he will be back onscreen, as Carell’s original deal was only for the first season and they do not have a new one in place.
Aniston, who also executive produces, pointed out that although the show is “of course” about #MeToo, its messages are more widespread than that. “Gender dynamics, power dynamics, abuse of power — and not just sexual abuse of power but just power struggles in general,” are all story areas “The Morning Show” endeavors to explore.
Reese made an appearance at the Producers Guild Awards last night. She skipped the red carpet but was on hand during the ceremony to present the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures to the producers of 1917.
Reese and her Big Little Lies co-producers were nominated for their show but sadly lost out to Succession. Reese was spotted with her friend/co-star/co-executive producer Nicole Kidman during the show though!
We have a few photos from the event in the Gallery:
Reese attended the Television Critics Association Winter Tour on Friday, to preview her upcoming Hulu series Little Fires Everywhere. Reese’s co-star/co-executive producer Kerry Washington, and writer and co-executive producer Liz Tigelaar joined her for the panel. They talked about developing roles for women, the complexity of the characters and storylines, and how producing their own projects opens up more opportunities for them. Reese wore a chic black outfit by Michael Kors for the panel.
Witherspoon, Washington team in front of and behind camera
Tired of others influencing her career choices, Reese Witherspoon launched her own production company eight years ago. She has been calling the shots on both sides of the camera ever since, often in collaboration with other high-profile actresses.
“I didn’t see a place to exist within the industry that we had,” she said. “There just wasn’t a spectrum of storytelling for women that I felt like was representative of the world that we walk through.”
Her company Hello Sunshine generates most of what Witherspoon does when she isn’t working with streaming services like Hulu. Starting in March, it airs “Little Fires Everywhere,” based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller, with Witherspoon and Kerry Washington playing mothers living in Ohio in the late 1990s. Both women were executive producers as well.
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