Nia DaCosta To Write & Direct ‘Hedda Gabler’ Adaptation

Nia DaCosta, director of the recent Candyman film, has been tapped to write and direct an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen‘s 1891 stage play Hedda Gabler. The project will reportedly be a re-imagining of the original story for MGM’s Orion Pictures and Plan B.

The play follows an anti-hero – uncommon for female leads, even moreso at the time – who is bored with a marriage she never wanted and now feels trapped in, resentful of the home she never desired, and is navigating the ennui of her out-of-control existence.

Ibsen – who has been described as “the father of realism” – was considered controversial for the time for his work. In letters prior to publishing the play in January 1891, he said: “What I principally wanted to do was to depict human beings, human emotions, and human destinies, upon a groundwork of certain of the social conditions and principles of the present.”

The play has been adapted before, including a previous film version that earned Glenda Jackson an Oscar nomination in 1975. However only once has an adaptation of a play centered around a woman actually been directed by a woman; Margareta Garpe helmed a TV movie version for the BBC in 1993.

DaCosta will no doubt have plenty of room to adapt the play for modern times and add her own voice as she did with Candyman, which made $77 million worldwide at the box office and made her the first Black woman director to open a film at the top of the U.S. box office charts.

Thanks to the success of that film – as well as her earlier well-liked indie thriller Little Woods that starred Tessa Thompson and Lily James – she’s in high demand, as she’s also currently filming Captain Marvel sequel The Marvels and has signed on to helm the film adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ novel The Water Dancer.

While it’s unclear right now exactly what this new version of Hedda Gabler will look like, what is clear is that DaCosta’s career is set to soar to even bigger heights over the next few years.


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