A feature adaptation of the Refinery29 short Mr. Malcolm’s List is in the works. Mr. Malcolm’s List will mark Emma Holly Jones’ feature directorial debut and star Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians, Mary Queen of Scots) and Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle). The film will be produced by Untitled Entertainment’s Laura Rister and Rebelle Media’s Laura Lewis. Alison Owen (Elizabeth) will serve as an executive producer alongside Refinery29.
Written by Suzanne Allain and based on her novel of the same name, the period romantic comedy will cast color consciously, using a culturally diverse cast to reclaim historical narratives that are traditionally played by white actors. Mr. Malcolm’s List is one of the highest-rated scripts on The Black List website and is accompanied by an award-winning podcast of the same name.
Refinery29, Untitled Entertainment, and Rebelle Media first partnered on a proof of concept short film of the same name which Holly Jones directed and stars Sope Dirisu, Gemma Chan, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Freida Pinto. Set in early 1800s England, a young lady (Chan) engages in courtship with a mysterious wealthy suitor, Mr. Malcolm, unaware of his unattainable list of demands for his future wife. Since its premiere on February 14, the short has enjoyed a successful launch and can be watched above.
“I have always loved championing new voices in front of and behind the camera but getting these works financed is the difficulty,” said Laura Rister, Untitled Entertainment. “Emma Holly Jones crafted a fresh and modern take on this genre, one that brought chills to all of us, and helped us gain the attention of Refinery29 and this amazing cast. If I could only work on projects with such a bold spin, I’d be a happy producer! Having the opportunity, in partnership with Refinery29, to support a filmmaker and her vision in this way, and to enable the film to get made is a dream.”
“I launched Rebelle Media in order to create commercial content that puts a unique lens on the world and especially how we view women in it,” said Rebelle Media’s Laura Lewis. “Emma’s bold vision for this project immediately piqued our interest, because it shook up the traditional narrative. We are proud to re-team with the fantastic group behind our short film to bring this romantic, funny, and innovative feature film to life.”
“Mr. Malcolm’s List is the perfect example of quality content created through an inclusive, intersectional lens,” said Amy Emmerich, Chief Content Officer, Refinery29. “[Director Emma] Jones is a force with a fresh voice — we’re so honored to be an incubator for her talent and this story, and are thrilled to support this story as a feature-length film.”