Poverty Row has set Julia Stiles to play groundbreaking screenwriter Frances Marion in the Jennifer DeLia-directed Mary Pickford film The First, based on Eileen Whitfield’s biography Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood. Marion was the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1930 for The Big House; she won the Academy Award for Best Story two years later for The Champ. Lily Rabe is playing Pickford, who worked with Marion on films that would go on to become her signatures, including Rebecca From Sunnybrook Farm and The Poor Little Rich Girl.

With more iconic Hollywood characters to cast including Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith, and Lillian Gish, The First is still adding star power. Michael Pitt will play Owen Moore, with Ryan Simpkins as young Mary. Julie Pacino, who’s in Berlin with DeLia presenting The First with Poverty Row’s Billy Bates, will produce with Said Zahraoui and Dominick Fairbanks. Stiles is repped by ICM.