Warner Bros. has optioned Brit Bennett’s debut novel The Mothers, with Kerry Washington producing under the Simpson Street Banner.
Bennett also will write the script for the project based on her novel, which was published in October by Riverhead, a division of Penguin.
The New York Times best-seller is set in a black community in a small suburban Southern California town where a big secret rocks the lives of several of its residents. The story explores young love, friendship and loss through a story centered on Nadia, a teen who, while grieving after her mother’s suicide, starts a relationship with Luke, the pastor’s son, and becomes pregnant. The choice she makes not only affects her own life and relationships for decades to come but the lives of Luke and Nadia's best friend, Aubrey.
Washington will produce with Natalie Krinsky, who wrote the YA adaptation of I'll Give You the Sun for Warner Bros. She brought The Mothers to Warner Bros. and Simpson Street. Krinsky also is currently adapting In a Dark, Dark Wood for New Line.
Simpson Street's first production, HBO's Confirmation (which starred Washington and earned her Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her portrayal of Anita Hill) received an Emmy nomination for best movie made for TV. The Mothers will be Simpson Street's first feature project for Warner Bros.
Julia Spiro and Courtney Freedman are overseeing the project for the studio.
Bennett, who also will serve as an executive producer on The Mothers, earned an MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel. She is repped by Paradigm on behalf of Julia Kardon of Mary Evans Inc.
Krinsky is repped by CAA, Gotham Group and Greenberg Traurig.
Washington, who stars on the hit ABC series Scandal, is repped by CAA, Katherine Atkinson at Washington Square Arts and Gretchen Rush.