Lawrence Kasdan is making a big changeup on his writing projects. After working on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Solo: A Star Wars Story, he’s moving out of the realm of space fantasy and into 20th century history. THR reports that Kasdan is set to write and direct a biopic about bigot Anita Bryant for Amazon.
For those unfamiliar with Bryant, THR has a brief synopsis of her bizarre career trajectory:
Bryant started her career as the second runner-up in the Miss America beauty pageant and rose to fame with songs like “Paper Roses.” She would go on to sing at Super Bowls and at the graveside of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was later named the spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Commission. But she became better known for her religious and political leanings.
In the late 1970s, Bryant began lobbying and heavily campaigning against anti-discrimination ordinances on the basis of sexual orientation as the head of the Save Our Children coalition. She is still remembered as a one of the decade’s major opponents to gay rights and appeared in Gus Van Sant’s Milk (2008) in recovered news footage.
In some ways, a Bryant movie could be incredibly timely. You don’t have to look too far to see a parallel between Bryant, an entertainer who became involved in political causes based in fear of “the other”, and demagogues of our present. On the other hand, Bryant pretty much lost. Almost everything she campaigned against eventually became legal and she became swept away by the tide of history. To put her back into the spotlight seems a bit bizarre, and I’m curious what kind of take Kasdan has on her.
Although Kasdan’s biggest projects are Star Wars related, he has a diverse background having directed The Big Chill, the western Silverado, and arguably the worst Stephen King adaptation, Dreamcatcher. His last directorial effort was 2012’s Darling Companion.