Art and Experience:

Toni Collette will make her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Lily King’s “Writers and Lovers.”

The novel, a best-seller when it was released last year, tells the story of Casey Peabody, an underemployed, aspiring writer in 1990’s Boston whose world is rocked by a recent love affair and her mother’s sudden death. After she falls for two very different men at the same time, life gets complicated.

Topic Studios, the producer of “Spotlight” and “The Mauritanian,” will back the project. Collette will write the screenplay with Nick Payne (“The Crown”). The actress will also produce under her Vocab Films banner alongside Susannah Grant (“Unbelievable”) and Sarah Timberman (“Masters of Sex,” “Unbelievable”); for Topic Studios, Michael Bloom, Maria Zuckerman and Ryan Heller will executive produce.

 

“I have been wanting to direct for quite some time but have been a bit busy with my day job,” Collette said in a statement. “l couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing Lily King’s beautiful, funny, moving novel to filmic life. It’s an empowering story that speaks to me as a woman and an artist. It’s ultimately about coming to know and believe in oneself.  This is not always an easy feat, but the most important journey any person can take. It inspires me on so many levels.”

Collette and Topic Studios previously collaborated on “Dream Horse,” an upcoming drama that will be released by Bleecker Street later this year.

“We were instantly charmed and then deeply moved by Lily King’s exquisite and heartfelt latest, and equally compelled by Toni and Nick’s vision,” Topic’s Zuckerman said. “We are honored to support Toni’s directorial debut and, with Susannah and Sarah, this is a dream team of partners with whom to bring this beautiful film to life.”

Collette’s film credits include “Muriel’s Wedding,” “Hereditary,” and her Oscar-nominated work in “The Sixth Sense.” On television, she has starred in “The United States of Tara,” winning an Emmy, and “Unbelievable.”

Collette is represented by CAA, United Management in Australia, Jen Turner at FINLEY Management, and Jacoway Tyerman.  Grant is represented by UTA and Adam Berkowitz of Lenore Entertainment Group. Timberman is represented by Adam Berkowitz of Lenore Entertainment Group. Payne is represented by WME and the Curtis Brown Group.  King is represented by CAA and The Book Group.

Source: Variety