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TriStar’s adaptation of Liane Moriarty‘s acclaimed novel WHAT ALICE FORGOT is gaining some steam, with Jennifer Aniston to star as the eponymous lead. Our sources confirm that Aniston has just become attached to the dramedy, which was to reunite her with her Marley & Me director David Frankel, though Frankel is now falling off the project. Michael Sugar, Kerry Kohansky Roberts, Steve Golin, and Rosalie Swedlin are producing for Anonymous Content, while Nicole Brown oversees for the studio. Vincent Sheehan is executive producing.
What Alice Forgot centers on 29-year-old Alice, who is about to give birth to her first child. She suddenly wakes up on the floor of her gym and finds that 10 years have passed and her life is in shambles: she is getting divorced, now has three kids, is fighting with her sister and is miserable all around. Alice, still believing that she’s 29, sets out to find what went wrong with her life and how to move forward.
The film will differentiate from the novel, with Alice instead awakening from a head injury, discovering that she’s a single mother of two and recently divorced from the man she thought was her soulmate. She then becomes determined to reignite her past love with her ex and get her old life back, which proves far more difficult than she anticipated.
Shauna Cross wrote the previous draft, though our sources reveal that a new scribe is being courted to do a polish, with producers seeking to ground the story and implement more emotional heft. The studio’s Tom Rothman pre-emptively picked up the novel in July of 2014, with Devil Wears Prada helmer Frankel on board to direct. The direction, which previously was aimed at making Alice a big commercial outing, has changed to shape the film into a much more personal dramedy.
What Alice Forgot is an ideal choice for Aniston, who proved her ability to carry an emotional drama with her acclaimed performance in 2014’s Cake. Most recently, she starred in Lionsgate’s comedy She’s Funny The Way, which co-starred her Marley & Me collaborator Owen Wilson, as well as Imogen Poots, Will Forte, and Rhys Ifans.
Aniston is currently set to star in Warner Bros.’ comedy Mean Moms, which is slated to be directed by Sean Anders, who previously directed the actress in Horrible Bosses 2 and scripted her comedy We’re the Millers. She’ll also appear opposite Mark Duplass in the romantic comedy Convention and will produce and star in Goree Girls.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor