‘Amazon Studios has acquired the rights to “The Female Persuasion,” an acclaimed best-seller by Meg Wolitzer.
The movie will be produced by Lynda Obst (“Contact”), Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, and Per Saari (“Big Little Lies”). Blossom Films, Kidman’s production company, recently signed a first-look deal with Amazon — this film will be a part of that pact.
“The Female Persuasion” centers on Greer Kadetsky, a college student who is groped at a fraternity party and becomes emboldened to speak up for women’s rights. But her assailant turns out to be a serial abuser and her university fails to take action. In addition to Greer, Wolitzer’s book follows several other characters, including Zee, a fellow student with an activist streak, and Faith Frank, a feminist icon. Reviews for the book were sterling, with The Guardian praising it as “warm and witty, and necessary.”
The book is being adapted and executive produced by “This Is Us” showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. Newly minted Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke worked with Aptaker and Berger when she was entertainment president at NBC — the network that airs the hit drama. In addition to producing the film, Kidman has the option to act in the picture.
“The Female Persuasion” is being adapted at a time of change for Amazon’s film division. The company scored with “Manchester by the Sea” and “The Big Sick,” but has suffered a string of flops such as “Life Itself,” “Wonder Wheel,” and “Gringo.” Salke is trying to reanimate the unit and recently promoted Julie Rapaport to co-head of movies. Rapaport has been tasked with developing more commercial pics that will carry bigger budgets than the arthouse pictures that Amazon has primarily released.
Wolitzer’s books include “The Ten-Year Nap,” “The Uncoupling,” and “The Interestings.” Her novel “The Wife” was recently adapted for the big screen and has attracted Oscar buzz for Glenn Close’s lead performance.’