Amblin Partners has closed a deal with Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Shaun of the Dead) to develop, direct and executive produce Stage 13, a feature film to be written by novelist and screenwriter Simon Rich (An American Pickle, Saturday Night Live, Inside Out), who will also produce.
Producing along with Rich are Nira Park (Baby Driver, Attack the Block) — who co-founded Complete Fiction with Wright and has produced his projects from early in his film and television career — and Tim Bevan (Les Misérables, Atonement) and Eric Fellner (Les Misérables, Atonement) – Co-Chairmen of Working Title and Oscar-nominated producers, who have had a working relationship with Wright since 2004’s Shaun of the Dead.
In Stage 13, the ghost of a Silent Era film actress has haunted the titular soundstage of a backlot for decades. After a struggling director meets the ghost, they find an unexpected kinship and team up to make their mark on the world.
Rich, a five-time Emmy nominee, has published two novels and five short story collections. His work appears frequently in The New Yorker. The short story Stage 13 (read it here!) was originally featured in Rich’s collection “Hits and Misses,” which won the 2019 Thurber Prize for American Humor.
Jeb Brody, Amblin Partners’ president of production, and Creative Executive John Buderwitz will oversee the project for the studio.
In more Amblin news, the company is also developing a feature film based on the true story of Trisha Mitchell Coburn and her life after she meets her mentor Miss Macy. Jean Smart (Watchmen, Fargo) will star as the titular Miss Macy and serve as executive producer.
The film will tell the true story of a young girl who is plucked from her unhappy home life and set on a path for success by an eccentric woman who sees something special in her.
Tate Taylor (The Girl on the Train, The Help) is attached to direct and produce. Pulitzer Prize winner and Oscar nominee Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart, Nobody’s Fool) will write the script.
Producing alongside Taylor is Denise Di Novi, whose credits include such notable films as Little Women, Edward Scissorhands, Practical Magic, Batman Returns, Heathers and Crazy Stupid Love, as well as president of DiNovi Pictures Margaret French Isaac, who produced Stepmom. Smart, Mitchell Coburn, John Norris (Ma, executive producer The Help), and Angeliki Giannakopoulos (My Child: Mothers of War, A Beautiful Day, Nick the Greek) will executive produce.
It was Giannakopoulos who, along with Smart, identified Trisha’s story as an idea for a powerful movie. They partnered with Di Novi Pictures and, after Taylor, Norris, and Henley enthusiastically came on board, sold it in a bidding war to Amblin. Holly Bario, Amblin Partners’ President of Production, and Mia Maniscalco, VP of Creative Affairs, will oversee the project for the studio.
And Amblin has has closed a deal with Emmy winner Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip, Like a Boss) for Homecoming Queen, a comedy based on a story from her own life. Haddish has signed on as producer and is also attached to star.
The film is inspired by the true story of when Haddish travelled to Africa thinking she was royalty, only to find out that that means something completely different on that continent than it does on this one.
Raamla Mohamed (Little Fires Everywhere, Scandal) will write the script.
Holly Bario, Amblin Partners’ president of production, and Mia Maniscalco, VP creative affairs, will oversee for the studio.