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Reese Witherspoon is reuniting with James Mangold for Three Little Words, an adaptation of the memoir by Ashley Rhodes-Courter.
Witherspoon will star in the adaptation, which Mangold will direct.
Amanda Seyfried, who last starred in Les Miserables, is in talks to star opposite Witherspoon but no deal is done.
Mangold is producing with also producing with his partner, Cathy Konrad, via their Tree Line Films banner, marking a reunion of the team behind Walk the Line, for which Witherspoon won a best actress Oscar.
Jami Gertz (A Better Life) and her Lime Orchard Production banner are also producing.
Red Crown’s recent boarding of the project gave it momentum and principals Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker and Daniel Crown are on board to produce. Red Crown’s Dover Shores Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, is fully financing the project, for which Good Universe will launch international sales at Cannes.
Words is described as a true-life Dickens-esque tale of a young Florida girl who entered the child welfare system when she was four.
The script, by Lewis Colick (The Fighter) and Michael Petroni (The Book Thief) centers on the relationship between the girl and the unpaid volunteer (Witherspoon) who discovers her nine years later. The volunteer must search for and convince the biological mother (Seyfried) to surrender her parental rights so the teen can begin a new life.
Konrad discovered the project early, optioning it in 2004 after it had won the New York Times Essay Contest.
The producers are hoping to move fast on the project and are eyeing a September start in Florida.
Red Crown produced the Julianne Moore-Steve Coogan drama What Maisie Knew and is developing with McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision an adaptation of Gitty Danveshari‘s YA book series School of Fear.
Mangold is prepping for his July 26 release of Fox’s summer tentpole, The Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman.
For Witherspoon, the deal marks an involvement in her second movie project since her much publicized arrest. The actress is in talks to star opposite Keanu Reeves in Wayfare Entertainment’s sci-fi love drama Passengers. Passengers would shoot after Words, in the first quarter 2014.
Since Witherspoon’s April 19 arrest in Atlanta, numerous videos of the incident — her husband, CAA agent Jim Toth, was charged with a DUI — have made its way to the web. On May 2, the actress appeared on Good Morning America apologizing for her actions in an interview with George Stephanopoulos.
Witherspoon is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Hansen Jacobson. Mangold is repped by WME, Management 360 and Sloane Offer. Seyfried is repped by Innovative Artists and Frankfurt Kurnit.
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