〉Nellie Bly was a pioneer in the field of investigative journalism
Madbrook Films will produce the biographical drama NELLIE BLY, based on the incredible life of one of the most influential women in the history of American journalism. The film is being produced by Madbrook’s Madeleine Sackler and Boyd Holbrook–who will also share story credit on the film–with Paul Nelson executive producing through Mosaic.
Nellie Bly was the pen name of Elizabeth Jane Cochrane, the daughter of a Pennsylvania mill worker, who went on to become a pioneer of modern investigative journalism. She earned international fame for going deep undercover in New York City, often to expose poor labor conditions for women in the workplace.
One notable piece found Nellie Bly committing herself to Blackwell Island’s Women’s Lunatic Asylum for ten days, where she faked a mental illness in order to report on the abhorrent standards of care at the hospital. The essay earned Bly national headlines, and prompted lawmakers to make permanent changes to the expected conditions of such facilities.
Bly was best known, however, for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days–an idea inspired by Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days–in which she successfully circumnavigated the globe using steamships and railroads.
With the recent success of multiple male-driven period biopics, including The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything and Foxcatcher, audiences are likely eager to see a female protagonist at the center of an Oscar-worthy historical drama. With Nelson’s involvement, his impressive roster will certainly be in play when the time comes to fill the leading role, with clients that include Linda Cardellini, Jessica Chastain and January Jones.
Producers are currently seeking a writer to bring Bly and her remarkable story to the big screen.
Josh Lyons | Staff Writer