×

Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer to Reunite for Holiday Comedy (EXCLUSIVE)

Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer are reuniting for a new film.

“The Help” co-stars will lead a holiday comedy for Universal.

Following a heated bidding war, the studio won the rights to the untitled pitch from Chastain’s Freckle Films.

Chastain and Kelly Carmichael wrote the original treatment and “Crazy Rich Asians” scribe Peter Chiarelli is on board to pen the script. Chastain is attached to produce with her company Freckle Films, along with Maven Pictures. Carmichael, Celine Rattray, and Trudie Styler will also produce.

Universal beat out Fox and Paramount for the pitch, which follows two women fighting the elements to make it home for Christmas.

Exec VP of production Erik Baiers and creative executive Mika Pryce will oversee the project for Universal.

The movie marks a re-team for Chastain and Spencer, who each earned an Oscar nomination for the smash hit “The Help,” with Spencer ultimately taking home the trophy for best supporting actress. Since then, the A-listers haven’t stopped garnering praise for their work, with both earning additional Academy Awards noms (Chastain for 2012’s “Zero Dark Thirty” and Spencer for 2016’s “Hidden Figures”).

This award season is no different as Chastain and Spencer are coming off critically acclaimed performances in Aaron Sorkin’s poker drama “Molly’s Game” and Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War fairy tale “The Shape of Water,” respectively.

Chiarelli is best known for writing the hit romantic comedy “The Proposal,” in addition to the upcoming film “Crazy Rich Asians,” set to hit theaters later this year. He is repped UTA, Mosaic, and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman.

Chastain — who is repped by CAA, Mosaic, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman — can be seen next in “X-Men: Dark Phoenix.”

Spencer recently wrapped production on the indie “A Kid Like Jake.” She is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Matthew Modine

    Supporters Back Matthew Modine After Clumsy Joke at SAG-AFTRA Meeting

    More than 100 women, including Ellen Barkin and Allison Janney, have voiced support for Matthew Modine’s campaign for SAG-AFTRA presidency, following a joke at a SAG-AFTRA meeting that some decried as misogynist. With voting set to conclude on Aug. 28, the campaigns have featured vitriolic attacks between supporters of Modine, secretary-treasurer Jane Austin and incumbent [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Earns 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Nominations

    Variety has received 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie award nominations for its coverage of the entertainment industry over the past year. The awards gala, which will take place at The Hilton Midtown in New York City on Oct. 30, celebrates publications that have demonstrated impressive investigative journalism, in addition to thoughtful digital and print design. [...]

  • WGA Agents Packaging Fight Placeholder

    Writers Guild Withdraws State Suit Against Agencies, Refiles in Federal Court

    The Writers Guild of America has withdrawn its state court suit against WME, CAA, UTA and ICM Partners alleging packaging fees are illegal and re-filed suit in federal court. The WGA also responded to antitrust claims brought against the guild by the three agencies. Those agency suits alleged that the WGA abused its power in [...]

  • Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart

    Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award

    British actor Tim Roth is to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award in recognition of his “exceptional contribution to the art of film.” The ceremony at the Sarajevo Film Festival will be held on Tuesday. He will hold a masterclass on the same day. His first screen role was the lead in the controversial [...]

  • Isabelle Huppert, receives the Honorary Heart

    Isabelle Huppert on Fateful Encounters, the Nature of Acting and Judging a Good Script

    Celebrated actress Isabelle Huppert, speaking at the Sarajevo Film Festival on Sunday, looked back on her illustrious career in a candid discussion that touched on her acting, the many renowned directors with whom she’s worked, and the importance of dialogue. The festival honored Huppert with its Honorary Heart of Sarajevo award “in recognition of her [...]

  • Inauguracion SANFIC 2019

    15th Sanfic Touts Attendance Rise, Hosts Gael Garcia Bernal, Wagner Moura

    SANTIAGO — Chile’s Santiago International Film Festival (Sanfic) launched its 15th edition Sunday Aug. 18 with three of Latin America’s best-known actors, Gael Garcia Bernal, Wagner Moura (“Narcos”) and Graciela Borges (“La Cienaga”), to which it bestowed career recognition awards. “It’s been 15 years in which we have presented more than 1,400 films,” noted Francisca [...]

  • Sarajevo, Intl. Casting Directors Network Look

    Sarajevo Film Festival and International Casting Directors Network Look to Launch Local Stars

    The Intl. Casting Directors Network (ICDN) and the Sarajevo Film Festival are joining forces to turn the popular Bosnian film fest into a springboard for regional actors looking to launch international careers. After kicking off with a pilot version last year, the initiative expanded to include a series of masterclasses with leading casting directors and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content