Rebel Wilson is set to make her feature directorial debut with The Deb, an Australian-set musical written by Hannah Reilly and Meg Washington. Based on a stage show that Wilson championed when it premiered in 2022, she will also co-star in the film.
The film tells the tale of two young women from different cultures; one is from a place known only as The Bush, while the other is a cynical city girl. Both are searching for self-acceptance – and a date to the Deb, the annual debutante ball that takes place in the fictional drought-stricken country town of Dunburn, Australia.
Wilson says she first listened to The Deb‘s score three years ago, before it was staged at the ATYP’s Rebel Theatre — named in her honor: “I said then that I think this is a film, and after we premiered it last year I said, ‘We’ve got to make this into a movie.’ Not all projects in Australia have universal appeal, but this one does.”
Charlotte MacInnes, who played one of the leads in the stage production, is returning for the film version. Natalie Abbott will play the other lead.
Wilson explained to Deadline that she’d been offered “a lot of movies to direct for studios, but I feel like if it’s going to take 18 months out of my life and out of my schedule then it has to be something special if I’m going to turn down other things […] I knew this was the one.”
The Deb will be produced by Wilson’s Camp Sugar Productions and Access Entertainment. Shooting will take place on location in Sydney and New South Wales starting in September.