Reese Witherspoon's production company Pacific Standard is becoming the go-to place for works written by and about women. Witherspoon is developing a movie based on All is Not Forgotten, an upcoming thriller novel by Wendy Walker. Walker's novel will be released in 2017, and has quite the plot. According to Variety, the book "centers on a teenager’s rape in suburban Connecticut and the efforts by her parents and psychiatrist to help her recall the details of the attack." Warner Bros., who acquired the project, will likely court Witherspoon to play the protagonist's mother, "who decides with her husband to give their daughter a pill to erase her short term memory so she won’t relive the trauma of the rape," according to a report by Deadline. And it makes sense: The mother role is going to be pretty important in the scheme of things, and Witherspoon has got the chops to take it on.
Witherspoon and her producing partner, Bruna Papandrea, founded Pacific Standard for the crucial goal of producing films with female protagonists. Unfortunately, there is still a need to push for more female-driven stories in Hollywood, but luckily women like Witherspoon and Papandrea are taking the initiative to remedy this continuing issue.
Last year, Witherspoon produced the Oscar-nominated films Wild and Gone Girl, both of which were adapted from books by women. Both films' success marked important moments for women in film — not just because of the women involved in their production, but both films sparked a discussion about gender politics. Gone Girl was especially important for its portrayal of female anti-heroes like Rosamund Pike's (below with Witherspoon) Amazing Amy on the big screen.
Gone Girl author and screenwriter Gillian Flynn explained, "For me, [feminism is] also the ability to have women who are bad characters … the one thing that really frustrates me is this idea that women are innately good." Producing works by women about women means filmmakers can show the female experience through multiple different perspectives, rather than giving us the same handful that we always see.
With this new project, Witherspoon is continuing to create opportunities and push women's representation to new depths on the big screen. So to say I'm excited to see how this film turns out is kind of an understatement. Go Reese!