×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Elisabeth Moss to Star as Rosemary Kennedy in Ritesh Batra Film (EXCLUSIVE)

‘The Lunchbox’s' Ritesh Batra directs; Mister Smith to debut title at the European Film Market

Award-winning actress Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) is set to star for director Ritesh Batra (“The Lunchbox,” “The Sense of an Ending,” “Our Souls at Night”) in his upcoming feature, “A Letter From Rosemary Kennedy.”

The little-known but haunting story of the eldest sister of President John F. Kennedy, who spent a lifetime hidden from public view because of the political ambitions of her father, Joseph Kennedy, is based on a Black List spec script by first-timer Nick Yarborough.

“A Letter From Rosemary Kennedy” is produced by Jason Michael Berman of Mandalay Pictures (“The Birth of a Nation,” “Little Evil,” “Mediterranea”), Kevin Turen of Guy Grand Productions (“Assassination Nation,” “The Birth of a Nation,” “99 Homes”)and Moss. Richard Arlook, Allard Cantor, and Jarrod Murray executive produce.

Mister Smith Entertainment will introduce the new title — which MSE’s David Garrett describes as a “a perfect alignment of a magnificent writer, a great actress and a singular film maker” — to buyers at this month’s European Film Market in Berlin.

Endeavor Content is selling North American rights.

“A Letter” turns on the first daughter of Joseph Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald who was blessed with the Kennedy family beauty but born with learning difficulties and developmental challenges. A vibrant beautiful young woman caught smiling in photos  with JFK, whom she doted on, she was, however, a large embarrassment to Joseph Kennedy Jr. who was priming his children to be great statesmen – and stateswomen. As result, she was hidden from public view and ultimately institutionalized by her father, suffering a botched lobotomy. The film is based on personal letters illustrating her wish to connect with her family and how her story became a catalyst for change and left behind a legacy for generation to follow, Mister Smith said in a statement.

“The movies about the Kennedy family are deservedly stormy affairs, but here’s a story about the storms within all of us,” said Batra.

“We are thrilled to be bringing this poignant and true story to life based on one of the hidden gems of the Kennedy family, with a masterful filmmaker in Ritesh Batra, the brilliant Elisabeth Moss, and a beautifully crafted screenplay by Nick Yarborough,” said producers Berman and Turen.

Starring in Ruben Ostlund’s Palme d’Or winning “The Square,” now nominated for an Academy Award, Moss played Peggy Olsen in “Mad Men” and has consolidated her global fame playing the protagonist of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Batra, who burst through to attention with “The Lunchbox,” his debut feature, which won a Bafta nomination for best foreign-language film, is currently editing his original India-set love story “Photograph,” which he produced alongside Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani and Michael Weber from The Match Factory, with financing from Amazon.

Moss is represented by WME, Ribisi Entertainment, and the Independent Talent Group in the U.K. Batra is represented by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates and William Morris Endeavor.

More Film

  • Michael B. Jordan arrives at the

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Warner Bros.' 'Methuselah' Movie

    Michael B. Jordan will produce and star in a “Methuselah” movie for Warner Bros., based on the Biblical story of a man who lived to be 969 years old. Jordan will produce through his Outlier Society production company along with Heyday’s David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. Warner Bros. has been developing the project for many [...]

  • Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping

    Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping Italy's Top Film Awards

    Piera Detassis recently became the first woman to head the David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s equivalent of the Oscars. Since then she’s been busy overhauling the inner workings of the prizes that will be awarded on Wednesday. Detassis, also the editor of Italian film publication Ciak, spoke exclusively to Variety about the challenges she’s faced [...]

  • Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards

    Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards Race

    With 15 nominations Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman” leads the pack of contenders for Italy’s David di Donatello Awards in a watershed year for the country’s top film nods that sees highbrow auteur titles reaping most of the David love just as local box-office grosses hit an all-time low. Garrone’s gritty revenge drama is followed closely with [...]

  • steven spielberg Apple TV Plus

    Steven Spielberg's Apple Appearance Riles Up Social Media: 'Big Old Mixed Message'

    Many Hollywood heavyweights flocked to Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters to help reveal the tech giant’s revamped steaming service Apple TV+ on Monday — but one such legend was so polarizing he became a national trending topic on Twitter for simply showing his face. Steven Spielberg was the first to appear in a dramatic short film [...]

  • Michael Lynne

    Former New Line Co-Chairman Michael Lynne Dies at 77

    Michael Lynne, the former co-chairman of New Line Cinema who played a key role in shepherding the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, has died at his New York home. He was 77. Lynne’s death was confirmed Monday by longtime business partner Robert Shaye, who told Variety that Lynne’s family had informed him of Lynne’s passing [...]

  • Marisa Liston

    Sony Veteran Marisa Liston to Lead Lionsgate Movie Publicity

    Lionsgate has named Sony Pictures veteran executive Marisa Liston to lead all feature film and motion picture group publicity and communications strategy. Liston, who departed Sony in late 2018 after 17 years, has been assigned the newly created title of head of global earned media and communications. She will oversee domestic and international feature film [...]

  • Studios Spurn WGA Request to Ban

    Studios Reject WGA Request to Ban Non-Franchised Talent Agents

    Studios have rejected a request by the Writers Guild of America to bar non-franchised talent agents if the current franchise agreement expires on April 7, saying it could expose them to extensive legal damages. The WGA will hold five days of member voting starting March 27 on a proposed “code of conduct” eliminating agency packaging [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content