Birds Of Prey director Cathy Yan has signed on for her next project, a sci-fi comedy titled The Freshening. It’s based on Rachel Khong‘s short story, and Yan will write the adaptation herself.
FilmNation, the company behind recent critical hit Promising Young Woman, will produce the film alongside Ali Wong, Hyperobject Industries/Gary Sanchez Productions, and Yan and Ash Sarohia‘s Rewild banner.
Khong’s short story is set in a near future America where tensions over race and gender have reached a violent extreme. The U.S. government institutes a public health initiative, in which every American receives an injection which makes everyone only sees others as the same race and gender as themselves. But soon a new street drug hits the scene, promising a chance to see the world as it really is.
“The Freshening is exactly the type of daring and timely film that excites me as a writer and director, and that Ash and I started Rewild to produce”, Yan said in a statement. “I’m delighted to get to work with like-minded collaborators Ali Wong, Hyperobject and FilmNation to bring this bold and impactful story to the screen”.
Wong added: “I was so haunted by Rachel Khong‘s compelling and high concept story when I read it. The Freshening is unlike anything I’ve ever worked on and I’m thrilled to develop it into a film with everyone involved. From the beginning, it was my dream for Cathy Yan to write and direct this project and I’m so incredibly grateful it came true”.
The Freshening has a superb premise and should be a very talked-about final product. It’s also great to see Yan get the chance to helm an original film after Birds Of Prey, instead of having to go an make another film in another franchise.
It’s also a small step forward for Hollywood, as even though Birds Of Prey was warmly received, it fell short of its break even mark at the box office. In the past, while male directors who made box office strugglers would get multiple second chances, it was a death knell for female directors, who would usually have to scratch and claw to get the chance to make anything ever again.
So the fact that Yan is able to not only make another movie very quickly, but an original one not tied to any existing franchise or IP, is a great sign that, while slower than we’d hoped, Hollywood is maybe moving in the right direction.
Now attention turns to who will star in The Freshening, as that intriguing premise should attract the interest of practically every actor in the industry.