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In a competitive situation, TriStar Pictures has picked up the worldwide rights to the Zendaya-fronted package A White Lie.
Based on Karin Tanabe’s novel The Gilded Years, the feature follows the first African-American woman, Anita Hemmings (Zendaya), who passed as white in order to attend the country’s most exclusive school for women, Vassar College.
Monica Beletsky (Fargo, The Leftovers) will write the feature, which will be produced by Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter via their Hello Sunshine banner. Zendaya will also produce.
“Monica, Zendaya, Lauren and Reese have developed a bold and original approach to Anita’s story that explores complex and timely themes in a way that is sure to thrill audiences,” said TriStar president Hannah Minghella, who will oversee the project with Nicole Brown.
The Sony-based label, which was behind Oscar-nominated feature Baby Driver, is behind Michelle MacLaren’s Nightingale.
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