Hot off her sizzling, Oscar-nominated turn in the #MeToo-themed revenge thriller Promising Young Woman, Carey Mulligan is in negotiations to star alongside Zoe Kazan in Universal‘s journalism drama She Said, which follows the New York Times reporters behind the expose that brought down disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Deadline broke the news, reporting that Mulligan will play Megan Twohey, and Kazan will play Jodi Kantor. In addition to writing a series of articles that exposed Weinstein for the monster he is, the two women also wrote the bestselling book that will serve as the basis for the film. Oscar winner Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Ida) will adapt She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement, and Emmy winner Maria Schrader (Unorthodox) will direct the movie for Universal.
She Said was originally optioned in 2018 by Megan Ellison‘s Annapurna Pictures and Brad Pitt‘s Plan B Entertainment, though much has changed at Annapurna since then. Financial difficulties forced Ellison to rein in her spending, which prompted the company to partner with Universal on She Said. Pitt will produce alongside his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, while Ellison will executive produce alongside Sue Naegle. Production is slated to start this summer, and the film will almost certainly be positioned as an Oscar contender next year.
Universal chief Donna Langley was reportedly eager to step up and get involved in She Said, given the fact that the high-profile project is led by two women, boasts a female director, three female writers (Kantor, Twohey and Lenkiewicz), and three powerful female producers (Ellison, Naegle and Gardner).
Deadline notes that Weinstein and his personal scandal will take a backseat to the team of female journalists who persevered through his threats of litigation and intimidation in order to break the story, which sparked a movement that has extended far beyond Hollywood’s borders. As such, the procedural film will unfold more like Spotlight and All the President’s Men, where the bad guys were on the peripheral, as opposed to, say, Bombshell, in which Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) had nearly as much screentime as the women he sexually harassed and abused.
While Mulligan and Kazan did co-star in a Broadway production of The Seagull, they have yet to share the screen together, though Mulligan did star in the 2018 drama Wildlife, which Kazan produced and co-wrote with her husband, director Paul Dano. Mulligan is currently filming the Netflix movie Spaceman with Adam Sandler (and Dano) and she’s set to star opposite Bradley Cooper in Maestro, though that film won’t begin shooting until 2022. Meanwhile, Kazan recently starred in HBO’s limited series The Plot Against America, the Coen brothers‘ most recent film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and the Oscar-nominated dramedy The Big Sick, which paired her with Kumail Nanjiani.
Thanks to Twohey and Kantor‘s reporting — as well as the enormous courage it took for his victims to speak up — Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence behind bars, which is exactly where he belongs. For all the great movies Weinstein championed, he proved to be a scourge on both the industry and humanity as a whole, and I look forward to seeing him get his comeuppance on the big screen so his crimes are never forgotten.