Archive for the ‘Role Rumors’ Category
Reese Witherspoon talks Apple TV+ drama ‘Surface,’ how new ‘Top Gun’ inspired ‘Legally Blonde 3’
If you’re missing “Big Little Lies,” Reese Witherspoon is here to help.
The actress and producer, featured in two seasons of the addictive HBO drama, is back behind the camera as executive producer of Apple TV+’s “Surface” (first three episodes streaming Friday, then weekly).
Created by Veronica West (Hulu’s “High Fidelity”), the sumptuous psychological thriller follows a San Francisco woman named Sophie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who suffers a traumatic head injury after falling off a boat in an apparent suicide attempt. With support from her therapist (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) and attentive husband James (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), Sophie attempts to heal and piece her memories back together.
But with the arrival of a mysterious man from her past (Stephan James), she begins to realize that she’s not being told the full truth of what happened to her – or even who she is.
“It reminded me of ‘Big Little Lies,'” Witherspoon, 46, says of the script. “It’s this very affluent community, but there’s this mystery lying underneath it all. It’s unsettling, and as an audience member, you don’t know who to trust. At the end of every episode, there’s a moment where you’re like, ‘Oh my god, that is completely not what I expected.'”
The project reunites Witherspoon and Mbatha-Raw, who co-starred in Ava DuVernay’s 2018 sci-fi adventure “A Wrinkle in Time” and, a year later, Season 1 of Apple’s “The Morning Show.” The British actress was drawn to the challenge of playing a character like Sophie who’s essentially a “clean slate,” with a backstory that only becomes more apparent as the eight-episode first season progresses.
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Amazon Studios Lands Reese Witherspoon, Will Ferrell Wedding Comedy Directed by Nick Stoller
Reese Witherspoon and Will Ferrell are headed to the altar in a new wedding comedy for Amazon Studios.
Amazon has landed rights to the untitled movie, from writer-director Nick Stoller, in which Witherspoon and Ferrell will star and produce under their respective banners. Jessica Elbaum and Ferrell will produce for Gloria Sanchez, with Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter producing for Hello Sunshine and the company’s Ashley Strumwasser serving as executive producer. Stoller — whose highly anticipated gay rom-com “Bros,” which he directed and co-wrote with star Billy Eichner, is due out Sep. 30 — will also produce for his Stoller Global Solutions alongside Conor Welch.
While details of the movie’s plot are still being kept under wraps, the premise reportedly involves two weddings that are booked at the same venue on the same weekend.
Sources say Amazon landed the rights to the project in a highly competitive situation with bids coming from both streamers and studios, which is logical given Witherspoon, Ferrell and Stoller’s stellar comedy resumes. To note, Hello Sunshine also has a number of high-profile projects in the works at Amazon, including the musical drama series “Daisy Jones & The Six,” starring Riley Keough and Sam Claflin, and the holiday romantic comedy “Something From Tiffany’s,” starring and executive produced by Zoey Deutch. After starring in hit dramas “Big Little Lies,” “Little Fires Everywhere” and “The Morning Show,” Witherspoon is set to return to her “rom-com roots” with the upcoming “Your Place or Mine” at Netflix.
Among Gloria Sanchez’s recent successes are “Eurovision,” in which Ferrell starred opposite Rachel McAdams, “Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” “Hustlers” and “Booksmart.” The company also has two multi-year first-look deals: one in television with Netflix, which came on the heels of the Emmy-nominated series “Dead to Me,” which will soon debut its third and final season; and a film deal at 20th Century Studios. Ferrell will next be seen in the Christmas musical “Spirited,” opposite Ryan Reynolds, which the company also produced for Apple TV+.
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Buyers Spark To Nick Stoller Wedding Comedy Package With Reese Witherspoon & Will Ferrell Attached
Reese Witherspoon and Will Ferrell are attached to star in an untitled wedding comedy that will be scripted and directed by Nick Stoller. He directed the upcoming Universal Pictures comedy Bros, which Judd Apatow produces, and which Stoller co-wrote with Billy Eichner. UTA is handling the auction and there are multiple offers on the table for the package. Witherspoon is coming off the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show, and Ferrell last starred in Eurovision and is filming the Barbie movie.
That means two strong packages that will sell for sure, the other being the Kat Coiro-directed buddy comedy with Nick Jonas and Glen Powell. These deals should be done by early next week. Stay tuned.
Disney Unveils Projects From Eva Longoria, Reese Witherspoon & The Russo Brothers For Disney+ & Disney Junior
Disney Branded Television is expanding its development slate with three new projects — Paolo Santiago and the River of Tears, a live action original series based on the novel, from Eva Longoria for Disney+; Tiny Trailblazers, an original animated series from Reese Witherspoon, who also will star, for Disney Junior; and Superfudge, an original animated movie based on the book, from The Russo Bros for Disney+. The projects were announced Monday [Feb 7th] as part of Disney Branded Television’s Winter TCA presentation.
Disney Junior is developing Tiny Trailblazers, an animated Original Series, produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine with Disney Junior.
Geared towards kids aged 2-7, the entertaining stories model positive attitudes about the great outdoors and highlight the importance of environmental conservation and wildlife protection. Partners from National Geographic are consulting on the project.
Witherspoon (Little Fires Everywhere, The Morning Show) serves as executive producer and will voice one of the mom characters, Fern, a wildlife specialist. The main characters are two girls, an adventurous city kid named Tilly and the more risk-averse Birdie, who befriends her when Tilly’s family moves to a campground while her scientist mom is doing field research on forest streams. As the girls observe their mother’s careers and interests and begin to explore and discover the magic of nature all around them, they develop a supportive friendship and a deep understanding of and appreciation for the natural world. The series also highlights age-appropriate social and emotional lessons about thoughtfulness, self-esteem, good instincts and trying new things.
Claire Curley also executive produces with Witherspoon.
Ashton Kutcher Joins Reese Witherspoon In Netflix Romcom ‘Your Place Or Mine’ For Aggregate & Hello Sunshine
Ashton Kutcher will star opposite Reese Witherspoon in the Netflix romcom Your Place or Mine based on the original script by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) who is also making her feature directorial debut on the project.
In Your Place or Mine, two best friends who live on opposite coasts swap homes for a week and see their whole lives change. Deadline first reported about Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan’s Aggregate Films’ deal on the co-production with Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. Bateman and Costigan will produce through their first-look deal with Netflix alongside Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter for Hello Sunshine and McKenna for Lean Machine.
Aggregate’s Ozark series, which Bateman stars in, directed and exec produced, clocked a third season that was watched by 29M households WW in its first four weeks. Ozark counts three Primetime Emmy wins: one for Bateman in 2019 for directing the drama series and two for Julia Garner in the Best Supporting Actress Drama series category. Last fall, Netflix acquired feature comedy Student Driver, an original pitch from writer Peter Hoare (Standing Up, Falling Down) and Jason Bateman’s Aggregate Films. Bateman recently starred in the Melissa McCarthy-Octavia Spencer Netflix comedy movie Thunder Force.
Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine was snapped up yesterday by a firm backed by private-equity giant Blackstone Group for a reported $900M. The new venture will be led by former Walt Disney Co. executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, with Hello Sunshine as its first acquisition. Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden will join the board of the as-yet-unnamed company and will continue to operate Hello Sunshine. Hello Sunshine’s notable credits include Apple’s The Morning Show, which has an upcoming second season, and HBO’s Big Little Lies and Hulu limited series Little Fires Everywhere.
Kutcher is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. He is a SAG ensemble nominee for the 2007 movie Bobby, and starred in such feature hits as What Happens in Vegas, Valentine’s Day, No Strings Attached and New Year’s Eve. His TV credits include 80 episodes of Netflix series The Ranch on which he also serves as EP, 84 episodes of Warner Bros. TV and CBS’ Two and a Half Men, and 183 episodes of That ’70s Show. As an EP, he has been behind such series as Punk’d and Beauty and the Geek.
Reese Witherspoon To Star In Two Netflix Romcoms From Hello Sunshine: Aggregate-Produced, Aline Brosh McKenna-Helmed ‘Your Place Or Mine’ & ‘The Cactus’
Netflix has set a deal for two feature starring vehicles for Reese Witherspoon, her first with the streaming service. Her Hello Sunshine has teamed with Aggregate Films’ Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan to produce Your Place Or Mine, a romantic comedy that will mark the feature directorial debut of Aline Brosh McKenna, whose script credits include The Devil Wears Prada and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Netflix has also acquired for Witherspoon the Sarah Haywood bestselling novel The Cactus, which will be fashioned as a second star vehicle which Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter to produce.
Your Place Or Mine focuses on two long-distance best friends who change each other’s lives when she decides to pursue a lifelong dream and he volunteers to keep an eye on her teenage son. The film will be produced by Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Neustadter and Aggregate’s Bateman and Costigan, and McKenna under her Lean Machine banner. She wrote the screenplay. Aggregate has its first look at Netflix, where Bateman stars in, directs and exec produces Ozark, which completed its third season (Netflix disclosed to shareholders the series drew 29 million viewers in the first four weeks).
Witherspoon has produced and starred in projects for Apple (The Morning Show), Hulu (Little Fires Everywhere) and HBO (Big Little Lies), and now she’s joined Netflix.
“We have been looking for the right feature opportunities to collaborate with Ted Sarandos, Scott Stuber and the entire team at Netflix for a while and we couldn’t be more excited to be working with them on these two romantic comedies,” Witherspoon said. “Both Sarah Haywood’s and Aline Brosh McKenna’s stories blend everything we love about traditional RomComs with strong, smart and determined female leads.
In The Cactus, an unexpected pregnancy at 45 causes a reserved woman to rethink the structured life she has created for herself and leads her on an unconventional journey toward love, family and learning to embrace the unexpected. The book was published on May 7, 2019 by Park Row.
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Reese Witherspoon to Present ‘Fierce Queens’ Wildlife Docuseries at Quibi
Reese Witherspoon is taking a walk on the wild side.
The “Morning Show” star has been announced as the host and narrator of a new wildlife docuseries titled “Fierce Queens” which is coming to Quibi.
“Fierce Queens” takes an in depth look at female animals: the rebel matriarchs, powerful leaders and dangerous lovers of the natural world. From hyenas to fireflies, meerkats to humpback whales, the documentary series aims to depict the most dramatic natural history stories from a fresh female perspective.
The series hails from the award-winning BBC Studios Natural History Unit. Jo Shinner, who has plenty of experience in the wildlife documentary department, is executive producing the series.
Witherspoon, who was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for playing feisty journalist Bradley Jackson in Apple’s “Morning Show,” is represented by CAA and LBI Entertainment.
She is one of dozens of big players who are working with Quibi, which is slated to launch on April 6, 2020.
Led by former DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, the short form platform is attracting A-list talent across the board, and has announced a slew of projects including just yesterday an adventure series with Zac Efron.
Other Quibi partners include Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, Sam Raimi, Jason Blum, Steven Soderbergh, Catherine Hardwick, Anna Kendrick, Doug Liman, Laurence Fishburne and Stephen Curry’s Unanimous Media. The short form content platform has also ordered shows featuring Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen, Don Cheadle and Idris Elba, as well as a remake of MTV’s “Punk’d.”
Netflix Wins ‘Pyros;’ Reese Witherspoon To Star, Produce Thomas Pierce Sci-Fi Film With Simon Kinberg
Netflix prevailed over several studios to land Pyros, an adaptation of the Thomas Pierce science fiction short story Tardy Man that has Reese Witherspoon attached to star in the film, and produce with Simon Kinberg. Pierce will write the script.
Deal comes a day after Apple unveiled a teaser trailer for Morning Show, a series that Witherspoon stars in with Jennifer Aniston. Now, Netflix has a Witherspoon feature vehicle. I’m told that up to six studios chased this package and that Sony Pictures was among the finalists.
Pierce will write the script based on his short story that was published in The New Yorker magazine last year. It’s the second major movie deal he has made on one of his New Yorker short stories; Chairman Spaceman was bought and is being developed by Fox Searchlight. Kinberg is producing that one as well. Deadline revealed the package hit the market August 1.
Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter are producing with Genre Films’ Audrey Chon.
Tardy Man deals with a group of augmented people who are fitted with indestructible fire suits that are fused to their spines. They work for a corporation that recovers objects for wealthy people when their houses are burning. It is strictly forbidden for them to veer from their salvage missions, even when other humans are in danger. The protagonist decides to make an exception to this rule and that is the jumping off point.
It’s the second big female-driven package deal to land this week. Yesterday, New Line beat out 17 other bidders for Don’t Worry Darling, the spec script that Booksmart’s Olivia Wilde will direct and star in. CAA is in the middle of both auctions, which are expected to sort themselves by next week. Witherspoon is managed by LBI and the writer by Kaplan/Perrone.