Amazon Studios have acquired the rights to the best-selling novel The Female Persuasion by author Meg Wolitzer. Nicole Kidman is on board to produce alongside Lynda Obst and Per Saari; the latter having previously worked with Kidman as a producer on Big Little Lies.
Kidman’s production company, Blossom Films, recently signed a first-look deal with Amazon, and this project will be their first collaboration.
The novel revolves around Greer Kadetsky, a college student who is groped at a fraternity party and becomes emboldened to speak up for women’s rights. Her assailant turns out to be a serial abuser, and the university fails to take action. The novel also follows several other characters, including a fellow student with an activist streak named Zee, and a feminist icon named Faith Frank.
The book is being adapted by This Is Us showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, while Kidman reportedly has an option to act in the adaptation. Aptaker and Berger being on board makes sense considering Jennifer Salke – the new head of Amazon Studios – previously worked with them when she was Entertainment President at NBC, which airs This Is Us.
Salke has been brought in to rekindle Amazon’s film division. Having previously delivered critical hits such as Manchester By The Sea and The Big Sick, the company has recently suffered a string of flops thanks to Wonder Wheel, Gringo, and the one of the worst-reviewed movies of the year, Life Itself.
Salke has recently promoted Julie Rapaport to co-head of movies, and she has been tasked with developing more commercial projects with bigger budgets, as opposed to the smaller-budgeted arthouse releases that Amazon has primarily released in the past.
Adapting a bestseller and critical darling like The Female Persuasion is a good start in that sense. Wolitzer recently had another one of her novels adapted into a film: The Wife, which has already garnered some Oscar buzz for lead actress Glenn Close. Wolitzer has also written the novels The Ten-Year Nap, The Uncoupling, and The Interestings.