The female-strong story follows three American women who meet at an orientation for an upscale retirement community in the South. Confounding their children and friends, the trio subvert expectations of a predictable future by leasing a villa in Italy, where they are surprised by the adventures, passions, and challenges that await them. Over the course of a year, Julia, Camille, and Susan—accompanied by their local guide and neighbor, the younger Kit—experience profound life changes as they make their way in a new country, rediscover artistic passions, pursue business ventures, find love, and come to terms with the past.
“What an exciting opportunity this is to work with the visionaries at Water’s End,” said Frances Mayes in a statement to Deadline. “Julia, Camille, Susan, and their narrator, Kit, will light up the screen with their vibrant passage to Italy.”
Mayes’ Under the Tuscan Sun was on The New York Times‘ bestseller list for two and a half years and then was adapted into a feature that starred Diane Lane, Raoul Bova and Sandra Oh.
“Frances Mayes’ books transport us not only to foreign destinations, but they also make us feel that we, like her characters, have changed inside,” Water’s End founder and principal Tom Dolby said in a statement to Deadline. “I’m thrilled to bring not just one, but four multi-faceted female main characters to the screen. Among many of its compelling themes, Women in Sunlight is a story about female friendship, as well as one about throwing out preconceived notions of what it means to get older.”
He said that their new film project is emblematic of his and the company’s commitment to films about characters at every stage of life. Dolby and Water’s End are currently in post-production on his solo directorial debut, The Artist’s Wife which stars Lena Olin and Bruce Dern as a Hamptons couple facing their golden years amidst the challenges of dementia and unrealized dreams. The Artist’s Wife‘s domestic sales are being repped by UTA where Dolby is represented; international sales handled by Celsius Entertainment.
Water’s End was also one of the production companies associated with Call Me By Your Name (as its first investor). Mayes is reped by Holly Frederick at Curtis Brown, Ltd.