Helena Bonham Carter is to star in miniseries “Saint Mazie,” which will be adapted by Clara Brennan from Jami Attenberg’s novel. The project is being developed and produced by Bonham Carter with Faye Ward’s Fable Pictures and Scott LaStaiti’s Palantir Group.
Bonham Carter will star as Mazie Gordon-Phillips, the real-life character who Joseph Mitchell first wrote about in the New Yorker in 1940, and who Attenberg brought to life in her book “Saint Mazie.” Mazie spent her days selling tickets at a movie theater which she eventually inherited, and in her spare time she walked the streets of New York, giving the homeless soap and sips of liquor from her flask.
Ward, whose credits include “Dancing on the Edge,” “Suffragette” and “The Crown,” said: “Mazie is a restless, independent woman who embodies the essence of 1930s New York. Our story unveils a woman in the middle of her life, a local legend who lifted the spirit of a community and yet barely moved beyond the perimeter of two square miles. She was in love with the streets and the people, she saw beauty in the dirt. It is exciting to think of Helena on screen oozing the spirit of this courageous woman. Clara’s witty and political voice is perfect for Mazie and her world.”
Brennan added: “I adored Jami’s wonderful book and the liveliness and vitality she conjured in her characters and city. Mazie is a very rare and rich character, she just had to be adapted for TV audiences.”
Ward and Eugenio Perez set up Fable Pictures, which is a joint venture with Sony Pictures Television, earlier this year. The first feature film to be produced by Fable is “Stan & Ollie,” written by Jeff Pope, directed by Jon S. Baird, starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, and financed by BBC Films and eOne.
LaStaiti along with Gregory Bailey recently launched Palantir Group, an entertainment fund established to acquire and develop movie and TV drama projects. These include “Frog Music,” which Oscar-nominated “Room” screenwriter and novelist Emma Donoghue has adapted from her novel. LaStaiti is producing “Frog Music” alongside Monumental Pictures.