Aubrey Plaza has signed on to star in Netflix’s romantic comedy Hope, which New Zealand duo Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami will direct from a script by Karen McCullah and Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith, the esteemed writers of Legally Blonde and 10 Things I Hate About You.
This is hardly official, so don’t quote me on this one, but I believe Hope will be the first movie to hail from a female directing team working off a script from a completely different female writing team. Regardless of the filmmakers’ genders, there’s a lot of comedic firepower behind the camera for this one.
Sources tell Collider that Hope is a romantic comedy about the crazy lengths a woman in her mid-30s is willing to go to when she discovers the perfect man. The script is said to address the societal pressure that women face to find a partner and settle down, and it gained renewed momentum around town following a Black List Live! reading in late 2017.
Plaza read the lead in that production, and she was joined by Glen Powell, Alanna Ubach, David Krumholtz, Nicholas D’Agosto, Camille Hyde, and narrator Mamrie Hart. No word on whether any of them will be joining Plaza in the movie, which the Parks & Recreation alum is also producing along with Michael Costigan and Jason Bateman of Aggregate Films, as well as Lundi Shackleton and Philippe Palacios of Les Espoirs Pictures.
Sami and van Beek are the team behind the indie comedy The Breaker Upperers, which they co-wrote, directed and starred in, and which premiered on Netflix in February, making Hope something of a reunion. Taika Waititi produced The Breaker Upperers under his Piki Films banner, and the film debuted at SXSW in 2018.
McCullah and Smith are two of the most prolific comedy writers in Hollywood, with credits ranging from Legally Blonde and 10 Things I Hate About You to The House Bunny, The Ugly Truth and She’s the Man. They’re currently working on Party Girls for Paramount and producer Todd Garner, and they’re also writing the Spice Girls movie for Paramount Animation.
Plaza recently starred in the Child’s Play reboot and wrapped the final season of Noah Hawley‘s FX series Legion. She turned heads with her committed performance in Ingrid Goes West, and she’ll soon be seen alongside Christopher Abbott in the indie movie Black Bear. She’s represented by CAA and MGMT Entertainment, while UTA reps the directors. As for the writers, McCullah is repped by Jaret Entertainment and Smith is repped by Verve. Deadline broke the news.