Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Viola Davis has stepped up to star in THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF RACHEL DUPREE, a film she had already been attached to in a producing role. She optioned the rights in 2011 to the novel of the same name by Ann Weisgarber and will still produce the film with Julius Tennon for Juvee Productions, alongside Brian Rosen and Su Armstrong for SixtyFourSixty.
Davis joins a cast that also consists of Mahershala Ali (House of Cards Emmy nominee) and Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild Oscar nominee), telling the story that takes place in early 1900s South Dakota. Davis will star as Rachel Dupree, the role which at one point had Naomie Harris attached to take on, who finds herself in a volatile game of cat-and-mouse with her husband as she takes matters into her own hands and fights to survive both for herself and her family.
Apparently, Davis discovered the book while filming The Help and was struck by how it explored “how you can choose a dream but you can’t choose the sacrifice.” She also said it was a rich role specifically as a woman, as Rachel is “a realistic heroine… one that is admirable, familiar, inspiring and rare.”
Claire McCarthy wrote the adapted screenplay and will also direct the feature. Production is expected to begin next year.
Davis is best known for her role as Annaliese Keating on How to Get Away with Murder, for which she won an Emmy last year. She can also currently be seen in the Warner Bros. and DC film Suicide Squad.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by Deadline.