Oscar-nominated actress Toni Collette is set to mark her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of New York Times bestselling novel, Writers And Lovers by Lily King. The project is set up at Topic Studios with Collette producing under her Vocab Films label. She’s also adapting the screenplay with Nick Payne (The Crown).
Released in 2020, Writers and Lovers was a Today Show “Read with Jenna” Book Club Pick, a New York Times Book Review Group Text Selection, and Book of the Month Club selection. The story follows Casey Peabody, an underemployed, aspiring novelist in 1990’s Boston whose world is rocked by a recent love affair and her mother’s sudden death. Her life becomes more complicated as she then falls for two very different men at the same time.
Susannah Grant, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for 2000’s Erin Brockovich, and Sarah Timberman (Masters of Sex) will produce the pic alongside Collette. Topic Studios’ Michael Bloom, Maria Zuckerman, and Ryan Heller will serve as executive producers.
Collette previously collaborated with Topic Studios on the Sundance film, Dream Horse, which will ill be released by Bleecker Street later this year. She is also reuniting with Grant and Timberman after working together on the Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated limited series, Unbelievable.
“I have been wanting to direct for quite some time but have been a bit busy with my day job,” said Collette. “l couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing Lily King’s beautiful, funny, moving novel to life. It’s an empowering story that speaks to me as a woman and an artist. It’s ultimately about coming to know and believe in oneself. This is not always an easy feat, but the most important journey any person can take. It inspires me on so many levels.”
Collette’s upcoming projects include the Netflix series, Pieces of Her, and the Guillermo del Toro-directed thriller Nightmare Ally opposite Cate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper. She is repped by CAA, United Management in Australia, FINLEY Management, and Jacoway Tyerman.
King, a bestselling author of five novels, including Euphoria, is repped by CAA and The Book Group. Payne is repped by WME and the Curtis Brown Group.