The novel, which was published by Penguin Random House in October 2019, is an epic tale from bestselling author Moyes, whose books have sold 40 million copies worldwide. Set in Depression-era Kentucky and rooted in true events, it tells the story of a group of extraordinary young women who defy the odds to bring knowledge – and power – to a remote mountain community.
Alison Owen and Debra Hayward will produce for their Monumental Pictures. Ol Parker will executive produce alongside Moyes.
Owen and Moyes previously collaborated on the film adaptation of Moyes’ bestselling novel Me Before You. After the success of that adaptation, Universal aggressively pursued the rights to The Giver of Stars once it was announced. It has become a high priority at the studio.
Universal’s SVP Production Jeyun Munford and director of development Lexi Barta will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.
The project marks another opportunity for Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman DonnaLangley to hire a female filmmaker as director, something for which she has pushed over the past several years. The studio just tapped Lesli Linka Glatter to direct its adaptation of Ashley’s War, set Rachel Morrison to direct the sports drama Flint Strong, and recently released The Photograph directed by Stella Meghie.
Aguilar-Mastretta has become another coveted director among the major studios joining a strong class of rising female filmmaker stars. Her recent credits include Everybody Loves Somebody, Vida and Paul Feig’s upcoming docu-comedy series This Country. She is represented by CAA, Epicenter and Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson Abramson LLP.
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