EXCLUSIVE: Husband-wife team Arturo Perez Jr. and Samantha Jayne have signed on to direct the film adaptation of Mean Girls the Musical for Paramount Players. The film will be produced by Lorne Michaels and Tina Fey with a script by Fey and featuring music by Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin, who did the music from the Broadway production.
Erin David, Caroline Maroney, and Micah Frank are overseeing for Broadway Video and Eric Gurian for Little Stranger.
While the details behind this latest adaptation are being kept under wraps, the film that started it all was written by Fey and starred Fey, Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams in a high school comedy about a new girl fitting with the A-list clique at her new school only to have slowly backfire after she falls for the leader’s ex-boyfriend.
The Fey script would later be adapted at the Broadway level and given a musical upgrade with that version also being produced by Michaels, Stuart Thompson, Sonia Friedman and Paramount Pictures. Casey Nicholaw directed it as well as handled the choreography.
Sources say this film has become a high priority with Players execs after Perez and Jayne gave a strong presentation for what the adaptation could look like. Sources say that only did their pitch still have a deep love and respect for the original movie but also brought their own approach by subtly updating that story without taking away from the original, and this ultimately sealed the deal for them landing the coveted job.
With this being the duo’s feature directorial-debut at a studio, it falls in line with Paramount Players continuing to keep an eye out for rising talent in the directing world having recently tapped Lindsey Beer to direct the new Pet Sematary prequel as well as Sanaa Lathan being tapped to make her directorial debut on the film On the Come Up.
While this marks Perez and Jayne’s first time directing a film, the duo have built quite a fan base as their collaborations span across film, music videos and television. Most recently, they co-created Quarter Life Poetry, which premiered at Sundance and was then released on FX on Hulu. Perez and Jayne are repped by UTA, and Annie Lee and Daniel Passman at Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman.
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