Toni Collette is finally making her directorial debut with an adaptation of Lily King’s Writers and Lovers. She is also serving as co-writer, along with The Crown’s Nick Payne. Collette brought the book to Topic Studios, which is backing the project, and she will produce it under her Vocab Films banner. Also joining the project as producers include Erin Brockovich’s Susannah Grant, Sarah Timberman, Michael Bloom, Maria Zuckerman and Ryan Heller. Collette previously worked with Grant and Timberman on the Netflix series Unbelievable.
Released last year to rave reviews, Writers and Lovers follows Casey Peabody, an aspiring writer in the ’90s thrown into chaos by a recent affair and her mother’s death. Although it may be a while until the film hits theaters, this gives audiences a chance to binge Collette’s entire career in preparation (I recommend starting with Muriel’s Wedding).
On directing for the first time, Collette said in an official statement:
“I have been wanting to direct for quite some time but have been a bit busy with my day job. l couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing Lily King’s beautiful, funny, moving novel to life. It’s an empowering story that speaks to me as a woman and an artist. It’s ultimately about coming to know and believe in oneself. This is not always an easy feat, but the most important journey any person can take. It inspires me on so many levels.”
Collette has been on quite a roll lately — just in the past three years, she has given audiences a wealth of stellar performances and iconic moments. I could spend all day listing them, starting with her endlessly quotable monologue in Hereditary, her freeing dance scene in Knives Out, as well as her Emmy-nominated work in Unbelievable. Thus, Collette’s turn to directing is highly anticipated for devoted followers, as the Academy Award-nominated actress has been a constant for over 30 years. Given her level of experience and her current rise in popularity, Writers and Lovers is certainly one film to get excited about.
In addition to Writers and Lovers, Collette has a slew of other projects in development, including a sci-fi thriller for Netflix starring Anna Kendrick and Daniel Dae Kim, and Guillermo del Toro’s next film Nightmare Alley with Cate Blanchett, Bradley Cooper and Rooney Mara.
Writers and Lovers is set to start production later this year. We’ll keep you posted as new details about the project emerge.