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Michael Showalter to Direct Jessica Chastain-Octavia Spencer Holiday Comedy (EXCLUSIVE)

Hot off the heels of his hit film “The Big Sick,” director Michael Showalter has lined up his next movie: Universal’s holiday comedy starring Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer.

Following a heated bidding war, the studio won the rights to the untitled pitch from Chastain’s Freckle Films and fast-tracked, adding Showalter as helmer. Universal beat out Fox and Paramount for the pitch, which follows two women fighting the elements to make it home for Christmas.

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

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

The movie marks a reunion 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.

Showalter also co-created the Netflix series “Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later,” which is based on his and David Wain’s cult classic of the same title. Showalter has helmed several episodes of Netflix’s “Love” and “Grace and Frankie,” and TBS’ “Search Party.” He also recently directed “My Name is Doris.”

He is represented by UTA, Principato-Young Entertainment, and Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder & Christopher, LLP.

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