Dee Rees will direct indie love story, seeking talent

After developing the project for 17 years, producer Mike Lobell has attached “Pariah” helmer Dee Rees to direct the indie love story “This Man, This Woman.”

Frederic Raphael (“Eyes Wide Shut”) wrote the script, which follows a divorced couple struck by tragedy who find themselves seated next to each other on an airplane, where they rekindle their relationship as they reminisce about what went wrong.

Lobell sparked to Rees after seeing her acclaimed directorial debut, “Pariah,” which she also wrote. After Lobell called Rees’ reps at WME to express his interest, the unlikely duo went to lunch to discuss the project, which led to a three-hour meeting at Lobell’s home. Producer and helmer are currently seeking talent before they start searching for financing.

Among the many kudos Rees drew for “Pariah” was the esteemed John Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirit Awards. Helmer is currently developing an HBO series with Viola Davis as well as the Southern-set thriller “Bolo” for “Pariah” distributor Focus Features. She’s also continuing to work on the script for “Large Print,” about a recently divorced insurance adjuster.

Lobell recently produced Michael Hoffman’s remake of “Gambit,” a comedic caper pic written by the Coen brothers that stars Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz. CBS Films will release it on Jan. 11. Lobell’s past feature credits include the Nicolas Cage pics “Honeymoon in Vegas” and “It Could Happen to You.”

Rees is repped by WME, Cinetic Management and attorney Victoria Cook, while CAA reps Lobell.

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