EXCLUSIVE: Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen and Anton Yelchin are in final negotiations to star in Very Good Girls, the directing debut of screenwriter Naomi Foner. The project, shooting this June in New York, is being financed by Norton Herrick’s Herrick Entertainment and produced through Michael London’s Groundswell Productions alongside Lee Clay and Herrick. Hawk Koch and Gale Anne Hurd are executive producers. Fanning and Olsen play lifelong best friends in the summer after their high school graduation, both determined to lose their virginity as a rite of passage into the adult world. When they fall in love with the same boy (Yelchin), their quest becomes much more complicated and emotionally dangerous than they ever imagined. They come out of the summer more women than girls, but in ways that they never imagined. Olsen and Yelchin turned in breakout performances at last year’s Sundance, in Martha Marcy May Marlene and Like Crazy.
The film is the first in a newly signed partnership between Groundswell and Herrick. The companies will collaborate on three-five movies per year with Groundswell and Herrick both generating projects that Herrick will finance. Herrick and Groundswell will produce them under London and Groundswell head of production Janice Williams. Their second film will be The Hollars, written and to be directed by Jim Strouse (Grace is Gone). The film is a comedy about the men in an eccentric Midwestern family facing the loss of the family matriarch. It will shoot in July and is casting up quickly. Very Good Girls is a longtime passion project for Foner, whose script credits include Running On Empty, Losing Isaiah and Bee Season. “The film deals with female sexuality and friendship in a way we haven’t seen before,” said Foner. “These girls will be stunning young women in a couple of years, but they’ve struggled through high school with only each other. Most of us have been there. This is the summer where they finally get to touch real life.” Foner’s repped by CAA, Fanning by One Talent Management, Olsen by Gersh and Independent Artists, and Yelchin by CAA and Brillstein. CAA packaged the film and is selling domestic.