GFM Films, JuVee Productions and SixtyFourSixty made the announcement Thursday on the opening day of the Toronto Film Festival, where the rights are for sale. The film will shoot next year with GFM Films co-financing and handling worldwide sales.
Claire McCarthy is directing from her own script, based on the novel by Ann Weisgarber. The film will be produced by Davis and Julius Tennon for Juvee Productions and Brian Rosen and Su Armstrong for SixtyFourSixty.
The story is set against the harsh backdrop of early 1900s Badlands, in which Davis finds herself playing an unsettling game of cat and mouse with her war-stricken but ambitious husband, played by Ali on their isolated South Dakota homestead.
Davis said she read the book six years ago while filming “The Help.”
“At its heart, it fully explores how you can choose a dream but you can’t choose the sacrifice,” she said. “Rachel’s gut wrenching journey and ultimate heroic decision was, for me, an actress’ dream. As a woman, it is my chance to play a realistic heroine… one that is admirable, familiar, inspiring, and rare. Rachel serves as the perfect voice to tell this part of American History seldom told.”
GFM Films’ partner Michael Ryan said, “We are delighted to be able to announce the full cast line up for this very special film. ‘The Personal History of Rachel Dupree’ has been generating a fantastic buzz with distributors keen to learn more about this poignant, relevant and topical project, particularly in the wake of this year’s Oscar controversy around the lack of women’s roles and racial diversity.”
Davis won an Emmy last year for lead actress in a drama for ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and is nominated for the award this year. She will be seen in December in Denzel Washington’s “Fences” movie adaptation, recreating her Tony Award winning performance for the big screen.
The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.