EXCLUSIVE: Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg have been set in the feature film Shirley about the famed horror author Shirley Jackson. The film will be the next from Madeline’s Madeline director Josephine Decker adapted by I Love Dick‘s Sarah Gubbins from Susan Scarf Merrell’s book of the same name. The film is scheduled to go before the cameras this summer.
Merrell’s 2014 novel tells the story of a young couple that moves in with Jackson and her Bennington College professor-husband, Stanley Hyman (Stuhlbarg), in the hopes of starting a new life. Instead, they find themselves fodder for a psycho-drama that inspires Jackson’s next major novel.
Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman’s Los Angeles Media Fund has come aboard to finance and produce Shirley. Killer Films’ Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa are producing the film with Moss, Sue Naegle and Gubbins alongside Soros and Horsman. Paradigm and UTA are repping North American sales.
Moss is currently starring in Season 2 of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale which won her an Emmy while Stuhlbarg was in three Best Picture Oscar films this year — Oscar winner The Shape of Water, and Oscar nominated The Post and Call Me By Your Name.
“No two people write more wildly rich female characters than Shirley Jackson and Sarah Gubbins. It’s an honor to bring their female sorcery to life with these incredible partners.” said Decker. “I can’t wait to witness Elisabeth Moss’ visceral inhabitation of Shirley’s beautiful tortured spirit and Michael Stuhlbarg’s unflinchingly charismatic-while-cruel Stanley.”
“We are thrilled to join this team, which is uniquely suited for this project,” added Soros and Horsman. “There’s no one better than Elisabeth Moss to take on the towering role of Shirley Jackson. As a director, Josephine Decker has already shown herself to be a master explorer of the blurred terrain where reality intersects with fantasy and creativity. Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa, of course, have a formidable track record of producing films of high caliber.”
Moss is repped by WME, Ribisi Entertainment Group and Hansen Jacobson. Stuhlbarg is repped by ICM Partners, Viking Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson. Decker is repped by Paradigm and Exile Entertainment; Gubbins by UTA. The book’s author, Susan Scarf Merrell, is repped by the Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Agency and WME.