Killer Films is producing with “Mad Men” producer Semi Chellas writing and directing the pic.
Chau will play Jenny Shimada, a 25-year-old former radical on the run for an act of violence against the American government who agrees to care for three younger fugitives delivered to her by an individual from her former life. One of them, Hearst, the kidnapped granddaughter of a wealthy newspaper magnate in San Francisco, has become a national celebrity for embracing her captors’ ideology and joining their revolutionary cell.
The studio is currently looking to land an actress for the key role of Hearst.
“American Woman” isn’t the only Hearst project in development. Fox 2000 is developing the book “American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst” by Jeffrey Toobin with Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, though that movie is focusing more on the Hearst character, while “American Woman” presents her more as a supporting player.
Chau cut her teeth in the TV world, appearing on series such as “Treme” before catching the eye of Paul Thomas Anderson, who cast her as Jade in “Inherent Vice.” She can be seen next in Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing,” which has already premiered at the Venice, Telluride, and Toronto film festivals. The film is expected to be a player during awards season and, even though the cast includes Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, and Christoph Waltz, Chau has been spotlighted as a standout in several reviews.
She is repped by Silver Lining Entertainment.