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Shiri Appleby in Talks to Direct Disney+ Body-Switching Movie 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' (Exclusive)

The actress who helmed episodes of 'UnREAL' and other shows, made her pitch to studio executives via Zoom.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
The actress who helmed episodes of 'UnREAL' and other shows, made her pitch to studio executives via Zoom.

In one of the first deals to get underway since Hollywood locked down due to the coronavirus crisis, Disney+ is hiring a director for one of its features.

Shiri Appleby, best known for her longtime acting work on shows such as UnREAL and Roswell, is in negotiations to direct Wouldn’t It Be Nice, a body-switching romantic comedy in the works at Disney+.

Andrew Gunn is producing the feature, which has a script by Emma Fletcher.

Appleby, who also directed episodes of unREAL as well as several other shows, would make her feature-helming debut with Nice. The way she nabbed the gig is very much of the moment in the way Hollywood is operating in these times of lockdown: Sources say Appleby presented her take on the project to Disney executives via Zoom. If a deal makes, she is likely to be the first director to be hired by the studio in this fashion. The project has not been greenlit and is still in development, insiders say.

Nice tells of teenage friends — a star football player on the rise and a brainy girl with few prospects — who wake up 20 years later to find out they are married and living a life neither of them expected.

The project has been in development at Disney since 2009 and had previous drafts written by Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah as well as Barry Blaustein and Jason Hefter. Fletcher, who wrote the current draft, is a TV writer with credits on Parks and Recreation and Amazon comedy Red Oaks. She also co-wrote Social Justice Warrior, a script that landed on the 2017 Black List.

Appleby, who most recently directed episodes of CW’s Roswell update Roswell, New Mexico, is repped by UTA. Other directing credits include episodes of Mixed-ish, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, and Light as a Feather.

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