Annapurna, 'Beginners' Writer-Director Mike Mills To Team on 1970s Drama

Mike Mills
Joe Pugliese

Director, "Beginners"

Mills wrote and will direct '20th Century Women'

Megan Ellison's Annapurna will produce 1970s drama 20th Century Women from Beginners writer-director Mike Mills.

The film, tinged with punk rock and set amid the oil and fiscal crises of Jimmy Carter's last summer in office, centers on three very different women who explore love and freedom in Santa Barbara and a boy whose worldview is altered when his mother takes in a male boarder. Casting is currently underway.

"The film is an ode to the women who raised me; my mom, my sisters, the girls I was in love with or looked up to at school and in the punk rock scene where I really learned about the world," Mills said in a statement. “These women were all so complicated and strong — all very funny, all fighting to find a way to be authentic, happy and free. All dealing with the complications of the new freedoms they were exploring."

Ellison will produce with Anne Carey (Adventureland) of Archer Gray and Youree Henley (The Bling Ring). Production is expected to begin in Southern California later this year.

Mills is best known for Focus' Beginners, which starred Ewan McGregor as a man who learns his terminally ill father (Christopher Plummer, in an Oscar-winning performance) is gay. Mills, repped by UTA, made his feature directorial debut with Thumbsucker, which he adapted from the novel of the same name.

Annapurna, the production house best known for awards favorites including American Hustle, Her and Foxcatcher, is currently handling Richard Linklater's baseball drama That's What I'm Talking About. The company's upcoming slate includes Alexander Payne's social satire Downsizing, which will star Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon, and the dystopian romance The Bad Batch, from A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour.

Chris Corabi and Vanessa Fung negotiated the deal for 20th Century Women on Annapurna's behalf.