EXCLUSIVE: Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray’s Maven Pictures is teaming with Going Clear producer Jacqui Lewis to produce a film adaptation of Zelda la Grange’s bestselling book Good Morning, Mr. Mandela. The story charts the unlikely but true story of la Grange’s friendship and career with former President Nelson Mandela for over two decades as his personal assistant and right-hand person. The story spans from Mandela’s release from prison and until his death.
In addition to offering a rare close portrait, Good Morning, Mr. Mandela pays tribute to Madiba — Mandela’s tribal name as he was affectionately known — and his wisdom. Growing up in apartheid South Africa, la Grange, a white Afrikaner, was surrounded by people who perceived Mandela as a terrorist. Conversely, to Mandela and the majority black population of South Africa, the Afrikaner was seen as the oppressor. Yet, Mandela still picked la Grange to serve as his trusted secretary and right hand.
The deal was brokered by Luke Speed and Curtis Brown at Curtis Brown UK.
Maven Pictures is freight train of momentum right now. As exclusively revealed by Deadline last week, Maven has inked a first look, overheard deal with Jessica Chastain and her new production company Freckle Films. The two companies have already optioned two books: The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister and Camille Pagan’s novel, Life and Other Near-Death Experiences.
Maven also has rising Brit actress Bel Powley starring in Fritz Bohm’s Wildling alongside Liv Tyler, who also co-produces. Wildling is an elevated horror tale in the vein of vampire pic Let The Right One In. The story centers on young Anna (Powley), who spends her entire childhood in a single room under the care of a mysterious man (Brad Dourif) she only knows as “Daddy.” He makes her fear the “Outside” by telling her of the “Wildling,” a creature with sharp teeth and claws who roams about eating little children. The film virtually sold out IM Global internationally at Berlin’s EFM following an enthusiastically received promo.
Trudie Styler is also making her directorial debut with the film adaptation of James St. James’ bestseller Freak Show with Bettle Midler, Alex Lawther, AnnaSophia Robb, Ian Nelson on board, which 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, and 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.
Maven also recently wrapped on Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, starring Shia Labeouf.