EXCLUSIVE: The next several months are going to be busy for Elizabeth Lail. The You and Once Upon a Time alum has landed the title role opposite Diane Keaton in Mack and Rita, an indie romantic comedy produced by Alex Saks and directed by Katie Aselton Duplass, we hear. She also has joined the ensemble cast for HBO Max’s upcoming Gossip Girl reboot.
As Deadline previously reported, Mack and Rita is billed as being in the spirit of Big. Mackenzie Martin, played by Lail, is tired of doing all the things she has to do to keep up and get ahead in her 30’s. Since she was a little girl, raised by her Grammie Martin, her deepest wish has been to be just like her Grammie, comfortable in her own skin, great at saying “no” and largely unburdened by what other people think of her. Not to mention Mack has always loved a good chunky sweater and being in bed by 8 pm. While at her best friend’s bachelorette in Palm Springs, Mack stumbles into a sound bath regression pod and comes out as a 70-year-old woman, who she names her Aunt Rita. But Mack’s transformation really has nothing to do with her exterior body and Mack she learns that the reality of old age isn’t quite what she imagined. It turns out that being comfortable in your own skin isn’t a given at 70, or any age, really, because self acceptance comes from within and only through actually living.
Keaton stars as Rita, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom star Taylour Paige portrays Carla, who is Rita’s best friend as young Rita.
Like the original series, the new iteration of Gossip Girl, written and showrun by Josh Safran, is based on the book by Cecily von Ziegesar. The logline: Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The prestige series will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years.
Lail joins an ensemble cast in the reboot that includes Jordan Alexander, Julien Calloway, Whitney Peak, Thomas Doherty, Evan Mock, Eli Brown, Tavi Gevinson, Emily Alyn Lind, Zion Moreno and Savannah Lee Smith, among others.
Produced by Fake Empire and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Studios, Gossip Girl is written and executive produced by Safran of Random Acts. Also executive producing are the original series’ Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage of Fake Empire, and Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo of Alloy Entertainment. Lis Rowinski of Fake Empire serves as co-executive producer.
Lail, known for her role as Princess Anna on Once Upon A Time, was most recently seen on the big screen in STXFilms’ horror pic Countdown. On television she most recently starred opposite Penn Badgley in Lifetime’s psychological thriller drama You. Her other TV credits include Dead of Summer, The Blacklist and The Good Fight. She’s repped by Authentic, ICM and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.