After more than two decades in the comedy trenches, Paul Feig is stepping outside of his comfort zone to direct the thriller A SIMPLE FAVOR, for which Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are in talks to star, the Tracking Board has exclusively learned.
Lionsgate is finalizing a deal to extricate the project from Fox 2000, which acquired the murder mystery in January 2016.
In A Simple Favor, a single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes. HarperCollins published the book in March, and described it as being in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.
Should Kendrick and Lively’s deals close, production would start in August. Feig had been slated to shoot Fox 2000’s Mindy Kaling-Emma Thompson comedy Late Night in the fall, but with A Simple Favor presenting a scheduling conflict, it means Feig will have to hand over the directing reins of Late Night to someone else, with Mindy Project director Nisha Ganatra rumored to be in the mix.
Since making his directorial debut in 2006 with Unaccompanied Minors, Feig has gone on to direct Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy and Ghostbusters, four films that have collectively grossed just shy of $1 billion worldwide. Feig has made it a point to seek out female-driven material, and with two female leads, a female screenwriter and a female novelist, A Simple Favor certainly fits the bill. It will also present a new challenge for Feig as he tackles a different genre.
Feig, who most recently produced the Amy Schumer-Goldie Hawn comedy Snatched and co-wrote the upcoming Bryan Cranston-Kevin Hart movie based on The Intouchables, is represented by CAA and attorney Warren Dern.
Kendrick recently starred in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, The Accountant and Table 19, and she also lent her voice to the hit movie Trolls, which is getting a sequel in 2020. The Oscar-nominated actress next stars in Pitch Perfect 3, which hits theaters this Christmas. She’s repped by CAA and attorney Todd Rubenstein.
Lively is coming off a 2016 that saw her star in The Shallows and Woody Allen’s Cafe Society. She’s attached to star in The Husband’s Secret at CBS Films, and she’ll be soon playing a blind woman opposite Jason Clarke in the indie All I See Is You. Lively is repped by WME, Management 360 and attorney Jeff Bernstein.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief