EXCLUSIVE: Lady Bird and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising star Beanie Feldstein has been set for the title role in Caitlin Moran novel adaptation How To Build A Girl, which Protagonist is launching world sales on in Cannes.
The comedic coming-of-age story from UK producer Monumental Pictures will start shooting on location in the UK from July. Director Coky Giedroyc, whose TV credits include episodes of The Killing and BBC drama The Hour, will helm the feature from the screenplay by UK broadcaster and author Moran.
Feldstein will play Johanna Morrigan in the 1990-set movie. Morrigan is sixteen, smart, opinionated and overweight. Hormones raging, she is desperate to get out of her home town and make a name for herself – which she does, reinventing herself as Dolly Wilde, a bad ass music critic. Gaining notoriety as an enfant terrible, she has finally figured out how to build a girl – but is this the girl she wanted to build?
The producers describe the lead character as “one of the great female literary icons on a par with Elizabeth Bennet and Bridget Jones.” Monumental Pictures developed the project with Film4, who also co-finance the film alongside U.S. financier Tango Entertainment, the firm run by Tim Headington, Lia Buman and Theresa Page with credits including Little Woods and Old Man And The Gun. Alison Owen (Suffragette) and Debra Hayward (Les Miserables) will produce.
Owen says, “We could not be more excited for Johanna Morrigan to burst onto the big screen. We searched high and low for a girl who could match the boundless wit, sparkle and big heart of Caitlin’s super-heroine and feel incredibly lucky to have found her in the effervescent Beanie Feldstein.”
“How To Build A Girl will be outrageously funny and utterly affecting, even heart-breaking,” added Hayward. “With Coky Giedroyc at the helm of Caitlin’s swashbuckling script, we are blessed to have a director who can deliver all this in spades.”
How To Build A Girl is the fourth book from Moran, published in the UK by Ebury Press and by Harper Collins in the U.S. The book was recently chosen for Emma Watson’s feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf.
Feldstein is represented by WME and Brillstein Entertainment. Giedroyc is represented by UTA in the U.S. and Independent Talent in the UK.