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A Private War and Grace of Monaco writer Arash Amel will adapt the book that Witherspoon and her former Pacific Standard partner picked up the rights to in 2015. As of now, there are no plans for Witherspoon to star in the resulting film.
Ware’s New York Times bestseller is about a reclusive writer who receives an invitation to her high school friend’s bachelorette party, though she hasn’t seen her in ten years.
Witherspoon and Papandrea will produce along with Maze Runner producers Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lindsay Williams as well as Shari Smiley from The Gotham Group.
Witherspoon has been keeping busy as a producer on films and TV projects that she won’t necessarily star in, although she can be seen this Friday in Disney and director Ava Duvernay’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. She and Papandrea had a very successful partnership that led to the drama Wild, for which Witherspoon received an Oscar nomination, David Fincher’s Gone Girl for which Rosamund Pike received an Oscar nomination, and HBO’s huge hit Big Little Lies, which received a number of awards over the past couple months.
With those two movies and TV mini-series in their win column, Witherspoon and Papandrea have already proven themselves as successful produces for this type of material, and one wonders who they might cast in the lead if the 41-year-old Witherspoon may have aged herself out of the role.
Amel recently wrote the Marie Colvin biopic A Private War, which is being directed by Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land) with Rosamund Pike starring as Colvin, and Jamie Dornan and Stanley Tucci co-starring. The film is currently in post-production with fledgling distributor Aviron Pictures planning on releasing it sometime this year. Amel is also writing and producing the Sam Worthington starrer The Titan, which should also be released this year although no U.S. distributor has been nailed down as of yet. Amel also wrote the script Seducing Ingrid Bergman, to which Jessica Chastain is attached.
Ruth Ware’s other bestseller The Lying Game is in development as a television series by eOne and the Gotham Group, while CBS Films has optioned the rights to her other novel The Woman in Cabin 10.
Witherspoon and Amel are both repped by CAA. Witherspoon is also with LBI Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson, while Amel is with Grandview and Myman Greenspan. Papandrea is repped by WME while Ware is with The Gotham Group and Eve White Literary Agency.
The story was initially reported on by Deadline.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor