EXCLUSIVE: Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne and Chris O’Dowd are in talks to star in a big-screen adaptation of Nick Hornby’s bestselling novel Juliet, Naked. Tamara Jenkins, who wrote The Savages, and Sideways writer Jim Taylor have adapted the script from Hornby’s book, with revisions by Phil Alden Robinson and Evgenia Peretz.
Jesse Peretz (My Idiot Brother) is attached to direct. Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel, who worked with Byrne and O’Dowd on the hit film Bridesmaids, are producing with Little Miss Sunshine producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa. Los Angeles Media Fund’s Jeffrey Soros is also producing while Simon Horsman is exec producing. LAMF is financing the title.
Juliet, Naked is described as a heartwarming romantic comedy about love and life’s second chances and follows the story of long-suffering Annie (Byrne), her music obsessed boyfriend Duncan (O’Dowd), and music star Tucker Crowe (Hawke), the object of Duncan’s obsession. The story has been compared to Hornby’s famous book High Fidelity.
Thorsten Schumacher’s newly launched international sales outfit Rocket Science will be selling the project to buyers at AFM early next month. UTA and CAA are handling domestic rights.
“Reminiscent of Bridget Jones, Juliet, Naked pairs Nick Hornby’s signature charm and humor, showcased in High Fidelity and About A Boy, with the incredible talent behind some of romantic comedy’s biggest successes,” said Schumacher.
LAMF’s Soros said: “Combining this cast with the talents of Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa and Jesse Peretz, we have every confidence for a wonderful outcome.”
Hawke’s career has been on a roll since he was Oscar-nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2014 for his part in Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. Recently, he played the late Chet Baker in Robert Budreau’s Born To Be Blue, a performance met with critical acclaim. This year, he’s also starred in The Phenom, Rebecca Miller’s Maggie’s Plan and Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven. He’ll be awarded the Gotham Actor Tribute Award at the Gotham Awards on November 28.
Byrne was recently cast in Sony’s live-action/CG adaptation of Peter Rabbit. She’s also landed a starring role in HBO Films’ The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks opposite Oprah Winfrey, about the true story of Lacks, the African American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line. This year, Byrne starred in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and X-Men: Apocalypse.
Irish actor O’Dowd just finished shooting the J.J. Abrams-produced horror/sci-fi pic God Particle, which is being distributed by Paramount next year. He’s also starring alongside Saorise Ronan and Aiden Turner in Loving Vincent.
Hawke is repped by CAA and David Schiff at Management Entertainment, Byrne is repped by CAA and O’Dowd is with WME, 3 Arts and Gordon and French. LAMF is repped by Irwin Rappaport.