Universal announced Wednesday it had acquired the rights to the “The Maid,” set for publication in 2022 via Penguin Random House in the U.S. and Canada, and HarperFiction in the U.K.
The studio said the story contains elements of Gail Honeyman’s “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” with an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery. It centers on Molly the maid, who leaves every room perfect and pristine, while getting to know each guest’s dirty secrets, and explores Molly’s descent into the murderous underbelly of her gilded workplace.
Joining Pugh as producers are Josh McLaughlin and Chris Goldberg, producing through their companies Wink Pictures and Winterlight Pictures, respectively. Prose will also serve as executive producer. The deal was brokered by ICM Partners on behalf of the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV and Film Agency.
Pugh received an Academy Award nomination in the supporting actress category for her portrayal of Amy March in “Little Women.” She won an British Independent Film Award for 2016’s “Lady Macbeth” and the Trophée Chopard at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Pugh next stars in Marvel’s “Black Widow,” opening in May 2021. She recently began production as the female lead in “Don’t Worry Darling” for New Line, directed by Olivia Wilde.
The books author, Nita Pronovost (writing as Nita Prose), is vice president and editorial director at Simon & Schuster Canada. McLaughlin launched Wink Pictures with an overall deal at Focus/Universal to produce projects in both film and television. He has set up a film with Lulu Wang, an adaptation of the podcast “Bagman” with Ben Stiller directing, and a film about the relationship between Carol Burnett and her daughter Carrie.
Universal’s Senior VP of Production Jeyun Munford and Creative Executive Christine Sun will oversee the pic on behalf of the studio.
Prose is represented by Madeleine Milburn at the MM Agency. Pugh is represented by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Curtis Brown. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.