EXCLUSIVE: Amblin Partners may have found the next major female directing voice, and she was right under everyone’s noses the whole time. Courtney Hoffman has been set to direct Ruthless, the John Swetnam-scripted action film that sold in a competitive spec auction for good money back in February. Brad Peyton came attached to direct back then but dropped off. That created an opening for Hoffman, best known as a costume designer on films that include Baby Driver, Hateful Eight, and Captain Fantastic.
What has sown a career-changing opportunity for this costume designer was The Good Time Girls, a feminist Western short film Hoffman wrote and directed. It takes place in the Old West, and stars Laura Dern as the leader of a brothel populated by damaged women who, it turns out, hold grudges. She shot it on 35mm, and made it as part of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women and Refinery 29’s Shatterbox Anthology. Alia Shawkat and Garret Dillahunt also star. Hoffman has additional collaborations planned with Dern, and is developing The Good Time Girls into a feature.
After working with Terrence Malick, Tim Burton, Stephen Soderbergh, Christoph Waltz, Bob Richardson and Emmanual Lubezki, she was the costume designer for Quentin Tarantino’s last films and Waltz’s personal costumer on Django Unchained. Judging by the dialogue and the violence of the short, his influence wasn’t lost on her. Here is the short, and it’s worth watching:
Peyton and Jeff Fierson are the exec producers. Hoffman is repped by WME, Haven Entertainment and Logan Claire at Ziffren Brittenham.