Toni Collette to make feature film directorial debut with ‘Writers and Lovers’

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Toni Collette appears in “Knives Out.” [Lionsgate photo]

Oscar-nominated actor Toni Collette (“The Sixth Sense,” “Hereditary,” “Knives Out”) will make her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Lily King’s 2020 novel “Writers and Lovers.”

Along with helming, Collette produce under her Vocab Films banner and write the script with Nick Payne (“Wanderlust,” “The Crown”), according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A New York Times best-seller, King’s fifth novel is set in the summer of 1997. Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death and devastated by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody arrives in Massachusetts without a plan. A former child golf prodigy, she waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room where she writes on the novel she’s been working on for six years. Now 31, Casey is still clinging to a dream nearly all her old friends have let go of: the desire to live a creative life. When she falls for two different men at the same time, her world becomes even more complicated.

“I have been wanting to direct for quite some time but have been a bit busy with my day job. l couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing Lily King’s beautiful, funny, moving novel to filmic 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,” Collette said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter. “This is not always an easy feat, but the most important journey any person can take. It inspires me on so many levels.”

Topic Studios — which recently released the legal drama “The Mauritanian,” starring Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, Shailene Woodley and  Tahar Rahim —  is behind “Writers and Lovers.” Topic Studios’ Michael Bloom, Maria Zuckerman and Ryan Heller will executive produce, and Susannah Grant and Sarah Timberman will produce.



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