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Film News Roundup: Poorna Jagannathan Starring in Pippa Bianco Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

In today’s film news roundup, Poorna Jagannathan has booked the lead role in the Untitled Pippa Bianco project, Warner Bros. dates “Crazy Rich Asians,” and former Relativity exec Linda Benjamin joins Covert Media.

CASTINGS

Poorna Jagannathan has booked the lead role in the Untitled Pippa Bianco project, based on her award-winning 11-minute short film “Share,” Variety has learned exclusively.

A24 is distributing the film with Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Matt Parker, Carly Hugo and Tyler Byrne producing. Jagannathan will play a tough, spirited, and active but relaxed mother. Her life changes forever when she discovers an extremely disturbing video of her daughter is spreading around her hometown and she decides to fight for justice.

Jagannathan is best known for series regular role as Safar Khan in HBO’s “The Night Of.” Most recently, she was a series regular on the Naomi Watts/Netflix series “Gypsy” and part of the ensemble cast for HBO’s anthology series, “Room 104,” from the Duplass brothers.

She is repped by Stone Manners Salners Agency and Smith Talent Group.

RELEASE DATES

Warner Bros. has set an Aug. 17 release date for its comedy “Crazy Rich Asians,” starring Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Ken Jeong, Harry Shum Jr., and Awkwafina.

The story is based on Kevin Kwan’s novel and unfolds in a world of opulence, as new and old money collide among a group of Chinese families living in Singapore. It follows a Chinese-American economics professor (played by Wu) and her boyfriend (Golding), who’s the heir to a massive fortune.

Color Force’s Nina Jacobson and partner Brad Simpson came on board the movie project in 2013 when Kevin Kwan’s book of the same name was still in the manuscript stage. Jon M. Chu is directing the adaptation from a screenplay written by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim.

EXECUTIVE NEWS

Covert Media has hired former Relativity Media executive Linda Benjamin as chief operating officer and head of business and legal affairs. She will work in identifying and executing strategic opportunities and relationships as the company expands its production slate as well as spearheading the company’s day to day business and legal affairs. She will report to CEO Paul Hanson.

Benjamin was executive vice president of business affairs at Relativity Media for six years and worked on film and television deals, including its ventures in China and India, output partnerships, music library, and international co-productions.

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