EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winning actress Patricia Arquette will make her directorial debut at TriStar on Love Canal, a drama based on the Will Battersby documentary The Canal. Scripted by Brad Desch (Fathers and Daughters), the drama will focus on extraordinary group of working class housewives from Love Canal, New York who took on the government and the chemical industry in the 70s. With no training or support, they got the President himself to move their families from homes built on lots where massive amounts of toxic chemicals had been dumped.

Safehouse’s Tory Tunnell is producing with Battersby, Arquette, and 3 Arts’ Richard Abate. Joby Harold  and Molly Madden will be exec producers. Pic’s a coproduction between Safehouse and 3 Arts, and Hannah Minghella and Shary Shirazi will oversee for TriStar.

Battersby is squarely staked in the scandalous Love Canal subject matter; he’s also currently working with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tamara Jones on a book about the central female figures involved in the environmental disaster at Love Canal, for Ballantine.

With the female empowerment tale, Arquette is backing up the galvanizing acceptance speech she gave when she won her Oscar for Boyhood, when she said, “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” A passionate feminist, Arquette sparked to the power of female determination and will that brought change in a David Vs. Goliath battle over Love Canal.

Arquette, currently starring with Benicio del Toro and Paul Dano in the 8-hour Escape At Dannemora for Showtime, is repped by 3 Arts and Gersh. Safehouse’s Tunnell and Harold next release Robin Hood through Lionsgate, with Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn and Jaime Dornan starring. Harold is writing The Flash for Warner Bros, where Safehouse an overall film/TV deal. Battersby’s documentary The Canal is being sold for distribution by 3Arts and will be released in 2018.