EXCLUSIVE: Trudie Styler will produce and direct the film adaptation of James St. James best-seller Freak Show which already has Bette Midler, AnnaSophia Robb, Ian Nelson and Lorraine Toussaint on board. The film is in pre-production and is expected to roll before the cameras at month’s end. The lead role has not yet been set … wish we were a fly on the wall for that casting session. Would be fun.
The book was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men’s Debut Fiction. The Lambda’s recognize the best in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender books.
Freak Show tells the story of Billy Bloom, a funny, good-hearted, cross-dressing teen who becomes the new student at an ultra-conservative high school. Although accosted with Bible thumpers, the jocks, the bullies, Billy takes a stand. Determined to be who he is and not bow to peer pressure, he refuses to change his outlandish outfits or behavior. Instead, he decides to run for Homecoming Queen for outcasts and underdogs everywhere.
Midler is set to play Muv, Billy’s mother. As the Divine Miss M., Midler began her career singing in a bathhouse in the 1970s and gathered quite a following from the gay community before becoming a mega-star.
Robb and Nelson will play Billy’s friends ‘Blah Blah Blah’ and ‘Flip,’ while Toussaint portrays Billy’s nanny, Flossie.
Celine Rattray (The Kids Are Alright) and Charlotte Ubben are also producing with Styler through their Maven Pictures banner along with Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen’s Flower Films (Chris Miller, Ember Truesdell), Jeffrey Coulter, and Bryan Rabin. Adapting the book is Beth Rigazio and PJ Clifton.
Maven Pictures, which was co-founded by Rattray and Styler (Still Alice, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Moon), most recently produced five-time BIFA nominated film Filth, starring James McAvoy. It also executive produced Miss You Already.
Midler just wrapped a concert tour this summer. She is repped by CAA and Morra, Brezner, Steinberg, and Tenenbaum.