EXCLUSIVE: After making his directing debut with the thriller The Rental, Dave Franco has found his next project, coming on to direct Somebody I Used To Know for Amazon Studios. Insiders also tell Deadline that Alison Brie, Jay Ellis and Kiersey Clemons are on board to star. Brie also co-wrote the script with Franco, and the film will be produced by Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey,and Isaac Klausner, and Black Bear’s Ben Stillman, Leigh Kittay,and Michael Heimler. Franco, Brie, Temple Hill’s Laura Quicksilver, Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman, and Bart Lipton will exec produce.
The film follows workaholic Ally (Brie) who, on a trip to her hometown, spends a night reminiscing with her ex-boyfriend Sean (Ellis), which makes her start to question everything about the choices she’s made and the person she’s become. Things only get more confusing when she meets Cassidy (Clemons), a younger woman who reminds her of the person she used to be.
“Alison and I love romantic comedies and were inspired by the classics from the ’80s and ’90s,” said Franco. “We couldn’t be more excited about working with Jay and Kiersey, who are both extremely natural performers, capable of bringing levity and drama in equal measure. And we’re so grateful to have partnered with Amazon Studios, who have been incredibly supportive in helping bring this project to life.”
The pic reunites Franco and Brie with Black Bear following last year’s box office success The Rental. The horror film, which Franco directed and which starred Brie, was released last summer to strong reviews. It topped the weekend box office for two consecutive weeks.
“Audiences around the world are going to fall in love with Somebody I Used to Know just as much as we did,” said Julie Rapaport, Co-Head of Movies at Amazon Studios. “Dave and Alison have reimagined a beloved genre in a delightfully modern way. We could not be more thrilled to watch this incredible cast bring the film to life, shepherded by Dave’s vision, and to partner with Temple Hill and Black Bear to bring it to screen.”
Franco has been busy on the producing side, starting with A24’s Zola which premiered to glowing reviews; the highly anticipated Hulu miniseries Pam & Tommy starring Sebastian Stan and Lily James; and the upcoming Vanilla Ice biopic To the Extreme in which he is also attached to star. In front of the camera, Franco recently wrapped production on the Apple limited series The Afterparty, which reteams him with producers Lord and Miller, and Netflix’s feature film Day Shift in which he stars opposite Jamie Foxx.
Brie most recently starred in Focus Features’ Promising Young Woman, which won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar in addition to getting a Best Picture nom. On the TV side, she starred in Glow for Netflix, earning two Golden Globe nominations for her role.
Ellis currently stars in HBO’s Emmy-nominated Insecure, which returns for its fifth and final season in October. In film, he will next be seen in the anticipated Paramount sequel Top Gun: Maverick with Tom Cruise, set to release November 19. Ellis most recently co-created and executive produced the new original podcast Written Off, which amplifies voices of formerly incarcerated young authors with a remarkable talent for the written word.
Clemons is set to reprise her role as in The Flash for Warner Bros, slated to release next November. She previously appeared in the live action-CGI hybrid feature, Lady and the Tramp for Disney+ as well as starred in the Sundance breakout films Hearts Beat Loud and Sweetheart.
Franco is represented by WME, Anonymous Content, and Felker Toczek. Brie is represented by WME, Rise Management and attorney AJ Brandenstein at Sloan Offer. Ellis is represented by UTA, Rise Management, and Hansen Jacobson. Clemons is represented by UTA, Range Media Partners and Jackoway Tyerman.
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