Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette‘s directorial debut Gonzo Girl is beginning to stack up its cast. The film, starring Arquette, Camila Morrone (Death Wish) and Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse), is an adaptation of Cheryl Della Pietra‘s novel of the same name about a college graduate looking for her publishing world break-through, who finds herself the assistant to a renowned, but fading, journalist. Joining Morrone and Dafoe to round out Arquette‘s cast are Ray Nicholson (Promising Young Woman), Elizabeth Lail (Mack and Rita), Leila George (Animal Kingdom) and Grammy-winning musician Rick Springfield.
Gonzo Girl takes place in the early ’90s, shortly after aspiring writer Alley Russo (Morrone) graduates and finds herself struggling to find traction in the brutal world of New York publishing. When Russo snags what seems like a coveted assistant job to famed “gonzo journalist” Walker Reade (Dafoe), living with him in his party house in Aspen, she believes the job will provide her an opportunity to stick her foot in the door. Alley soon comes to find out that being the assistant to the legendary writer isn’t quite the gig she’d expected. Instructed to essentially babysit Reade and corral him into penning his latest novel, Alley is met with a shocking discovery: Reade’s literary prowess has been severely diminished over years of substance abuse. Unwilling to give up on the job, or the writer, Alley commits to turning Reade’s inarticulate raving babble into prose. In a move that blurs moral ethics and is borderline plagiarism, Alley picks up the pieces of Reade’s career, but to what consequences?
While Springfield‘s role for the film is being kept quiet, Nicholson is tapped to play a Hollywood movie star, and former teen heartthrob, Larry Lukes. The celebrity is a frequenter of Walker Reade’s Aspen compound due to his latest acquisition of Reade’s most famous novel. Lail will portray Larry Lukes’ current partner, Devaney Peltier, who relishes the chaos and glamour of Lukes’ lifestyle. George‘s role is described as a beautiful actress, September McAvoy, who is Lukes’ co-star and possibly a romantic interest.
Nicholson‘s most recent role was in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Licorice Pizza with Sean Penn and Alana Haim. His other feature credits include Promising Young Woman and Now Is Everything. Nicholson has an upcoming project with Not Okay‘s Zoey Deutch in Amazon Prime‘s rom-com Something From Tiffany’s. Lail gained notoriety as Joe Goldberg’s (Penn Badgley) obsession Guinevere Beck in Netflix‘s You, and she is currently starring opposite Diane Keaton in Katie Aselton‘s Mack & Rita. She’s also had roles in the hit series Gossip Girl and Once Upon a Time.
George is best known for her recurring role as Janine “Smurf” Cody in TNT’s Animal Kingdom, and has featured in films like Mortal Engines and 2019’s The Kid with Ethan Hawke. Springfield, whose role in Gonzo Girl was not disclosed, is an Australian musician with a number of feature film credits including Battlestar Galactica and Ricki and the Flash. Fans may recognize him from his television appearances on The Goldbergs, Supernatural, Ryan Murphy‘s American Horror Story, and Californication.
Catch & Release Films‘ Frank Hall Green is set to produce, as well as Rh Negative‘s Tom Heller, Bayard Production‘s Cameron O’Reilly and Arquette who will also be directing the film.
There is no official release date for Gonzo Girl, but production is currently underway in Utah.