Not content to be starring with Chris O’Dowd on Broadway in a revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men, James Franco is simultaneously directing the world premiere of The Long Shrift for the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, a highly regarded off-off-Broadway company based in Greenwich Village. Novelist Robert Boswell’s play concerns the return home of a teenage boy after serving nine years for rape. Show is slated to run July 7-August 23 at the company’s home base at 224 Waverly Place.
The company’s “special summer season” will continue with Phoenix, a love story in which Julia Stiles will star with James Wirt about a couple in the aftermath of a one-night stand. Jennifer DeLia will direct the show, running July 28 through August 23 at the Cherry Lane Theatre.
EXCLUSIVE: Julia Stiles has joined the cast of The Great Gilly Hopkins, an adaptation of Bridge To Terabithia author Katherine Paterson’s novel of the same name. The Book Thief‘s Sophia Nelisse is playing young protagonist Gilly, who dreams of being reunited one day with her mysterious and exotic mother. Stiles will play Gilly’s mother. Also newly added to the cast is Bill Cobbs (The Bodyguard, Rake) as Gilly’s blind, kindly neighbor Mr. Randolph. Cobbs stepped into the role replacing previously cast Danny Glover, who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Rounding out the cast is Billy Magnussen (Into The Woods, The East) as the youngster’s overworked and underpaid social worker. Kathy Bates, Octavia Spencer, and Glenn Close also co-star. Script is adapted by Paterson’s son David Paterson, who also co-adapted his mother’s Terabithia tome into the 2007 film. Picturehouse will distribute The Great Gilly Hopkins, which is now filming in and around New York City. Stiles is repped by ICM Partners, Untitled Entertainment and Sloane Offer Weber and Dern.
Julia Stiles (the Bourne movie franchise) has been tapped for the lead in TNT‘s drama pilot Guilt By Association, from former prosecutor Marcia Clark, on whose book the project is based, and Dee Johnson. The project centers on Rachel Knight (Stiles), a talented, unorthodox and impulsive Deputy DA in the LA County District Attorney’s office who sometimes operates outside the law in order to uphold it. Rachel relies on her cohorts — fashionable prosecutor Toni LaCollette (Rose Rollins) and tough-as-nails Detective Bailey Keller (Elisabeth Röhm) — for all things professional and personal. Driven by compassion but haunted by guilt, Rachel tackles the Special Trials Unit’s most difficult cases and does so with humor, an edge, and an “evidence is for pussies” attitude. When the suspicious death of a close colleague throws her own judgment into question, Rachel must rely on her connections and instincts to solve the case and clear her friend’s name. Neve Campbell was previously in final negotiations to play Rachel but pulled out at the last moment. The pilot is executive produced by writer-showrunner Johnson, Clark and Nelson McCormick. Dexter alumna Stiles, repped by ICM Partners, Untitled and Sloane, Weber, has been starring in Web series Blue.
Related: 2014 TNT Pilots
On the heels of closing a multi-year deal with Fox Broadcasting Co., YouTube’s scripted drama channel Wigs has announced a new drama, Paloma, written and directed by Julia Stiles, and starring Grace Gummer as a young woman dealing with the unpredictability of relationships, both in romance and in the workplace. It joins Blue starring Stiles, which returns for a 26-episode second season March 15, and Lauren starring Troian Bellisario and Jennifer Beals, whose Season 2 will unspool this spring. Paloma, which also debuts in the spring, also features Rhys Coiro and Garret Dillahunt.
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.
EXCLUSIVE: Julia Stiles is set as the lead in NBC’s drama pilot Midnight Sun. The thriller, based on an Israeli format, follows the mysterious disappearance of Midnight Sun, a group living on a cult-like commune in Alaska. It centers on Leah Kafka (Stiles), a female FBI cult specialist leading the investigation that uncovers a larger conspiracy. Also cast in the pilot, written by Lisa Zwirling, are Connor O’Farrell (The Pacific) as Dugan’s Police Chief Garth Harring, Emma Bell (The Walking Dead) as his daughter Rory, and Daniella Pineda as the receptionist at the police station. This marks the first series regular gig for Stiles, whose feature credits include the blockbuster Bourne franchise. She previously did a season-long guest arc on Showtime’s Dexter, which earned her an Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Midnight Sun reunites Stiles with NBC where she starred in the hit 1999 miniseries The ’60s. Stiles, who had multiple pilot offers, is with ICM, Untitled and attorney David Weber. O’Farrell is with SDB Partners; Bell with ICM and Brillstein Entertainment; Pineda with Innovative and manager Kirsten Ames.
Myriad Pictures has acquired worldwide rights outside the UK for the Neil LaBute-scripted Seconds Of Pleasure. Mike Figgis will direct a film that will star Matt Dillon, Julia Stiles, Brendan Fraser, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Hendricks. Seconds Of Pleasure explores a series of intimate and emotionally charged events that occur among a small group of people traveling together on a trans-Atlantic flight from Chicago to London. LaBute adapted it from his novel, which weaves together the intertwined yet separate stories of the six couples searching for those moments that make life worth living. Seconds Of Pleasure is a production of Scotland broadcasting giant STV. Margaret Enefer, STV Productions’ Head of Drama, Bill Shapter and LaBute are the producers. Read More »
Julia Stiles is joining The Weinstein Co’s The Silver Linings Playbook, which stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and is being directed by David O. Russell. Just as significantly, Chris Tucker, who has flirted with a number of films but hasn’t made a movie since 2007′s Rush Hour 3, has closed his deal to also star in the film. Production will begin soon in Philadelphia. The movie, based on Matthew Quick’s novel, centers on a teacher (Cooper) who is institutionalized for depression and released into the care of his mother. He ends up falling for an unstable woman (Lawrence) while trying to win back his estranged wife. Stiles, who is signed, will play Lawrence’s older sister.
Julia Stiles and America Ferrera have signed on to star in writer-director Todd Berger’s It’s a Disaster, a Vacationeer Productions comedy about four couples who meet for Sunday brunch but get stranded in a house as the world may be about to end. Kevin M. Brennan, Jeff Grace, Blaise Miller and Berger of comedy troupe The Vacationeers also will star in the film, which will shoot in Los Angeles in the fall. Berger penned the Lionsgate/Jim Henson Co film Happytime Murders and wrote and directed The Scenesters, an indie film that played at the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival. Stiles, repped by ICM and Untitled Entertainment, was just nominated for an outstanding guest actress in a drama series Emmy for her turn on Showtime’s Dexter, her first TV work. Ferrera, repped by ICM and Authentic, next appears on the big screen in David Ayer’s End of Watch opposite Jake Gyllenhaal.
Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks has signed on to star in Seconds of Pleasure, which Mike Figgis is directing from a Neil LaBute script. The story takes place on an airplane and connects the lives of people on the plane through vignettes. Hendricks plays a wife who catches her husband in a compromising position. Brendan Fraser plays the husband, and Julia Stiles, Matt Dillon and Kristen Scott Thomas also star. LaBute is producing, with production to begin this summer in the UK. Hendricks, also shooting the Doug McGrath-directed I Don’t Know How She Does It with an ensemble cast that includes Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Jessica Parker, is repped by Paul Kohner Agency and KLWG Entertainment.