Alexander Payne, who co-wrote and directed the original film, is returning for the follow-up, which is set to debut on Paramount’s streaming service, Paramount+. In addition to directing, Payne will write the movie adaptation with Jim Taylor.
In “Election,” based on the 1998 novel by Tom Perrotta, Witherspoon portrayed an ambitious, Type-A student whose social studies teacher (played by Matthew Broderick) attempts to sabotage her campaign to become school president. Although it wasn’t a box office draw, the movie was nominated at the Oscars for best adapted screenplay, while Witherspoon landed attention at the Golden Globes in the best actress race.
The sequel, based on Perrotta’s follow-up novel that published earlier this year, picks up with Tracy in adulthood as she continues to struggle to fight her way to the top at work. She’s the assistant principal at a public high school in suburban New Jersey, but she sets her sights on the top job as her boss announces plans to retire.
In the New York Times’ review, critic Molly Young described the follow-up story as “even more piercing than its predecessor” and praised Perrotta’s characters as “exquisitely drawn.” Meanwhile, Vox’s Constance Grady calls Tracy Flick “a Rorschach test for how we think about women, ambition, and the power dynamics of sex. “
Witherspoon will produce the film with Lauren Neustadter for Hello Sunshine, a Candle Media company. Additional producers include Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa of Bona Fide Productions. Perrotta is executive producing.
Witherspoon is filming the next season of “The Morning Show” for Apple TV+ and will appear next in Netflix’s romantic comedy “Your Place or Mine.”
Payne, best known for “Citizen Ruth,” “The Descendants” and “Nebraska,” is currently working on “The Holdovers” with his “Sideways” star Paul Giamatti.
Perrotta’s prior novels “Election” Little Children” were adapted into Oscar-nominated films, while “The Leftovers” and “Mrs. Fletcher” were turned into acclaimed HBO shows.