Ashleigh Powell Adapting Kim Liggett’s Novel ‘The Grace Year’ For Elizabeth Banks & Universal

Ashleigh Powell Apple Rose photography

EXCLUSIVE: Ashleigh Powell is adapting Kim Liggett’s novel The Grace Year which hits store shelves today, a project that Elizabeth Banks will direct for Universal.

Back in January, we broke the news about Banks optioning the novel to direct for Universal and produce through her and Max Handelman’s Brownstone banner alongside New Leaf Literary & Media’s Pouya Shahbazian. Liggett and Brownstone’s Alison Small will executive produce.

Powell wrote the Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms which grossed close to $174M at the worldwide box office. She is repped by 3 Arts and Eric Feig Entertainment & Media Law, Inc.

Elizabeth Banks The Grace Year
Shutterstock/Wednesday Books

The Grace Year from Wednesday Books examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in between. Ebury/Penguin is the publisher of the book in UK, Australia and New Zealand. The translation rights to the book have sold to 20 territories around the world, all before the book was published. The Grace Year is the Target Book Club Pick for this month, as well as the “Book of the Month” selection at Amazon and Apple Books, and the #3 IndieNext selection.

Liggett is currently touring the U.S. with stops in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and her hometown of Kansas City. She’s also the author of Blood and Salt, Heart of Ash, The Last Harvest (Bram Stoker Award Winner), and The Unfortunates.

Universal SVP of Production Sara Scott and Director of Development Lexi Barta will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

Elizabeth Banks and Brownstone Productions are represented by UTA, Untitled Entertainment, Relevant, and Ziffren Brittenham. Brownstone has an exclusive TV deal at Warner Bros. TV and first look film deal at Universal. Their film slate includes’ Banks next directing project, which she’s also starring in, Sony’s reboot of Charlie’s Angels on Nov. 15. Other projects set up at Universal include Science Fair, Uncanny Valley and The Paperbag Princess, as well as Misconception at Screen Gems. On the television side, Brownstone’s slate includes Season 2 of the critically acclaimed series Shrill starring Aidy Bryant at Hulu; an animated comedy series based off The Flintstones with Warner Bros. Animation; Love Me at ABC; and The Twelve at FOX.

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