DEADLINE – Shailene Woodley is set to star in the title role of Girl Named Sue, the true story of DEA agent Sue Webber-Brown and her role in creating the Drug Endangered Child (DEC) protocol. Fernando Coimbra is directing and Crazyrose partners Jean-Marc Vallée and Nathan Ross (Dallas Buyers Club) are producing with Laura Bickford (Traffic and Beasts of No Nation), whose Flora Films partner Fiona Druckenmiller is exec producer.
The film was written by Lisa Cole and Mark Monroe, the husband & wife team. Mark Monroe wrote the Oscar-winning documentaries The Cove and Icarus. Set in the central California farmland in the ’90s at the height of the crystal meth crisis, Webber-Brown fights her way into the boys’ club of law enforcement where she takes it upon herself to help the small children overlooked during raids. It is a decision that will change her life forever. Risking her career and the safety of her family, she attempts to change the way United States law enforcement and Social Services treat “drug endangered” children, saving thousands of children’s lives. While certain states and counties have mandated Sue’s DEC protocol, it is not yet federal law.
As announced earlier in the week, the project was awarded a tax credit by the California Film Commission.
Vallée and Ross teamed with Woodley on Big Little Lies. The Crazyrose partners are next collaborating with Michael De Luca on the John Lennon and Yoko Ono film for Universal. Woodley is currently starring in Last Letter From Your Lover. Coimbra helmed A Wolf At The Door and eps of Narcos.
The producers said they were elated the California tax credit allows them to shoot in California, where the story took place. The hope is to begin production late February.
Endeavor Content and CAA Media Finance are co-repping North American rights.
Woodley is repped by Hyperion, Management 360, and Felker Toczek; Coimbra is repped by CAA, Echo Lake Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham.
What an exciting time for Shai – so many great projects lined up!
VARIETY – Felicity Jones and Shailene Woodley have signed on to star in and exec produce “The Last Letter From Your Lover,” Augustine Frizzell’s love story set between London and the Riviera.
Callum Turner, Nabhaan Rizwan, Joe Alwyn, and Ncuti Gatwa will co-star. Shooting begins in Mallorca, Spain, on Oct. 14, before the production moves to the U.K.
Blueprint Pictures, the Film Farm, and Studiocanal are producing. The movie is based on the bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, which has sold 3 million copies worldwide and been translated into over 30 languages.
The story follows Ellie (Jones), a young journalist in contemporary London who uncovers a series of love letters that tell the story of an intensely romantic but star-crossed affair in the 1960s between Jennifer Stirling (Woodley) and Anthony O’Hare (Turner). As Ellie is drawn into the story, she becomes obsessed with discovering the lovers’ identities and finding out how their love story ends.
Pete Czernin and Graham Broadbent of Blueprint Pictures are producing alongside Simone Urdl and Jennifer Weiss of The Film Farm. Jones and Woodley are both executive producing. Studiocanal is fully financing and distributing in the U.K., France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. It is selling the film worldwide.
INDIEWIRE – With only an 80-page outline to guide them, there were a lot of blanks to fill when “Endings, Beginnings” director Drake Doremus hired Shailene Woodley to star in the film just two weeks before shooting began. In between casting and shooting, however, Doremus, Woodley, and co-star Sebastian Stan made a two-day road trip up the California coast to the film’s Bir Sur location, swapping life philosophies along the way.
“We ended up driving for five-and-a-half hours and the amount of inside jokes and the vulnerability that came from that drive alone really drove our characters forward,” Woodley said at an “Endings, Beginnings” panel discussion the day after the film’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere. “The first day of filming, we had to be very vulnerable with one another, intimate with one another … I felt like all of us were riding on the same frequency.”
The film chronicles Woodley’s Daphne on her journey to find love for herself and others while dealing with deep emotional scars and navigating a love triangle with a grounded professor (Jamie Dornan) and his passionate party-boy best friend (Stan).
“Everything in my life changed from this movie,” said Woodley. “I thought I knew who I was, I thought I was in a perfect relationship. And I did this movie and it made me question a lot of things about myself and my decisions. I think it’s because of the amount of truth and the amount of realness that we were all giving one another,” including take after take of improvised scenes.
“We call each other ‘searchers,’” Doremus said. “I mean with everything, every situation it’s, ‘What’s the meaning of this? What’s really the truth about that? What does this mean?’”
As he did with his celebrated “Like Crazy,” Doremus (and on this film, co-writer Jardine Libaire) drafted an outline with action points, suggested dialogue, and a clear idea of each scene’s “main event” rather than a traditional screenplay. Doremus said the impetus of the movie was based on mistakes he had made in his own life and was a way to process a breakup.
In the edit room, Doremus worked closely with editor Garret Price to first select scenes that felt the most honest, which was the baseline to decide if something could end up in the movie, he said.
Ensuring they had something to work meant improvisation scenes and taking advantage of their own emotions, whatever they happened to be. “I came to work one day and I couldn’t stop crying,” Woodley said. “It was just very emotional. And then (Doremus) was like, ‘You know what, let’s just change some things around and let’s just shoot this.’”
I’ve uploaded some further additions from Shailene’s busy Sunday at TIFF, including a stop at the Variety Studio to discuss Endings, Beginnings alongside director Drake Doremus (interview has yet to be released). Some portraits taken with the director and co-stars Jamie Dornan and Sebastian Stan have also been added. Enjoy.
Last night marked the premiere of Endings, Beginnings at the Toronto International Film Festival – and we’ve uploaded photos of Shailene from the event. Reviews out of the screening have been mixed, to say the least, but I think this has often been the way director Drake Doremus’ films have been received. Either way, I can’t wait to see it (hopefully the wait won’t be too long).