Early Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Dan Mazer’s next film ANYA’S GHOST looks to be moving ahead with actor Emma Roberts set to star in the movie based on the Eisner-winning graphic novel by Vera Brosgol. Roberts will play one of the title roles… but it’s not “Anya.”
Adapted by Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls), the Anya of the title is a 16-year-old teen outcast who gets stranded in an underground cave where she discovers the ghost of a girl named Emily (Roberts) who died there centuries earlier. At first, Emily’s ghost seems like she can be Anya’s best and only friend but the relationship affects everyone around Anya.
The film is being produced by Jeremy Bolt and Bolt Pictures along with Billitt Entertainment’s Benedict Carver and EOne, who is fully financing the movie and will distribute worldwide.
Roberts (American Horror Story, Scream Queens) has indie drama Who We Are Now screening in the Narrative Spotlight section of SXSW tonight after debuting in Toronto. She’s repped by CAA and Sweeney Entertainment.
While the 27-year-old Roberts has remained fairly active since her 2006 feature Aquamarine and 2007’s Nancy Drew, she’s mainly been focusing on Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens and American Horror Story in recent years. Her new film Who We Are Now from Matthew Newton premiered at Toronto last year and will play the SXSW Film Festival, although it hasn’t procured distribution yet.
After writing, directing and producing on Baron Cohen’s series Da Ali G Show, Mazer went on to write and direct the indie rom-com I Give It A Year, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival before being released by Magnolia Pictures in 2011. He would go on to direct the Robert De Niro-Zac Efron comedy Dirty Grandpa and write Bridget Jones’ Baby and Office Christmas Party.
Anya’s Ghost was published by McMillan’s Square Fish in 2011, going on to win two prominent comic book awards, the Harvey and the Eisner, as well as the Cybils Award.
Roberts, Mazer and Ness are all with CAA with Roberts also repped by Sweeney Entertainment. Ness is also with Michelle Kass Associates and Howard Abramson, Mazer with 3 Arts Entertainment and George Davis.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor