×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Melissa Leo, Dianna Agron to Star in Nun Drama ‘Novitiate’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Melissa Leo, Dianna Agron and “The Leftovers” actress Margaret Qualley will star in the coming-of-age drama “Novitiate,” Variety has learned.

The film, set in the early 1960s, tells the story of a young woman, Sister Cathleen (Qualley), who starts to question her Catholic faith as she trains to become a nun. Leo will portray the Reverend Mother and Agron will play another young nun in the convent.

The rest of the female-driven cast includes Julianne Nicholson (most recently seen in “Black Mass”), Stacy Martin (“Nymphomaniac”), Rebecca Dayan (“The Childhood of a Leader”), Morgan Saylor (“Homeland”) and Maddie Hasson (“I Saw the Light”).

Meanwhile Chris Zylka (“The Leftovers”) will play a character who appears in flashbacks.

Novitiate” marks the feature directorial debut of Margaret Betts, who wrote the script in order to explore a story about the ways in which women love. Kat Westergaard will be the director of photography.

The film is produced by DeerJen’s Jen Gatien. “‘Novitiate’ is the female answer to male-bonding films like ‘Platoon’ or ‘The Hurt Locker,’” Gatien says. “More significantly, it stands as an extraordinary opportunity to challenge the prevalent norms in Hollywood by not only featuring an entirely female-leading cast but also a female writer/director, producer and DP.”

The project will start shooting in January in Nashville.

More Film

  • WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make

    WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make Deals if Agents are Fired

    The Writers Guild of America has authorized managers and lawyers to negotiate deals for writers in place of agents — if the guild tells members to fire their agents on April 7. The guild’s negotiating committee notified members of the plans in a message Wednesday. The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents having made [...]

  • Gone With the Wind Screening

    Film News Roundup: 'Gone With the Wind' Sets Event Cinema Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Gone with the Wind” sets a new record, “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is acquired, and Tracy Oliver signs with Topic Studios. EVENT CINEMA RECORD The 80th anniversary release of “Gone with the Wind” has grossed $2.23 million in six nationwide screenings on four dates — a record as the [...]

  • Made in Abyss - Journey’s Dawn

    Film Review: ‘Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn’

    It’s a Herculean effort to take a multi-volume manga like author Akihito Tsukushi’s “Made in Abyss,” adapt it into a popular anime television series, and then compress the show into a coherent feature (technically, two movies), but the folks at Sentai Filmworks have done just that. Part one, “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn,” will screen [...]

  • HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market

    HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market Winners

    Eighteen prizes were presented on Wednesday afternoon at the closing ceremony of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. The project market sits alongside FilMart as part of the Entertainment Expo in Hong Kong. “Wong Tai Sin Assassination” to be directed by Wong Hoi and produced by Derek Kwok Tsz-kin, was named the winner of [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Makes Concession on Film Financing in Agent Talks

    The Writers Guild of America has made a concession in film financing in its negotiations with Hollywood talent agents — the second in six weeks of talks. WGA West executive director David Young said Wednesday that it had made a “significant move” toward reaching a deal with the Association of Talent Agents for a revamped [...]

  • Noah Centineo He-Man

    Noah Centineo to Play He-Man in 'Masters of the Universe' Reboot

    From a boy (who’s loved) to He-Man. Noah Centineo is in talks to take on the superhero in Sony Pictures and Mattel Films’ “Masters of the Universe.” Brothers Adam and Aaron Nee are directing the reboot. Mattel Films is partnering with Sony on the movie, which is based on Mattel’s beloved toy line that spawned [...]

  • Disney Fox Takeover Placeholder

    Disney, Fox Employees Grapple With Day One Transition on Two Hollywood Lots

    What kind of a boss will Disney be? That’s a question facing employees at 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, National Geographic Partners, FX Networks, and other assorted parts of Rupert Murdoch’s former media empire. Wednesday was their first full day as staffers of the Walt Disney Co. and the initial moves have done little to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content