Hailee Steinfeld to Star in YA Adaptation 'Carrie Pilby' (Exclusive)

Hailee Steinfeld - P 2015
Courtesy of Shelter Public Relations

Hailee Steinfeld - P 2015

Susan Johnson will direct the indie based on Caren Lissner's popular novel

Hailee Steinfeld will star in Carrie Pilby, the film adaptation of the coming-of-age novel by Caren Lissner.

Susan Johnson will direct the indie, which centers on a 19-year-old genius who has just graduated from Harvard and has no idea how to fit in or socialize in life outside college.

Suzanne Farwell, a longtime producer of Nancy Meyers' films, originally found and fell in love with the book and is producing Carrie Pilby, which is aiming to shoot around May of this year. Kara Holden wrote the script, with Dean Craig working on later drafts. Susan Cartsonis will executive produce. 

Lissner has also been very involved in the development of the script as the filmmakers hope to stay loyal to fans of the popular YA book, which explores the life and love challenges of entering the adult world, and the universal desire to be accepted — all through the thoughts of a very interesting and unique main character.

Lissner's book was first published in 2003 under Harlequin Enterprises' female-centric Red Dress Ink imprint, which was launched to focus on the growing "chick-lit" market that included books with a humorous edge like Bridget Jones' Diary. Carrie Pilby was also later re-released under the Harlequin Teen line, and has been published in Italy, France, Mexico, Australia, the U.K. and Indonesia.

Steinfeld has become a force since her breakout performance in 2010's True Grit, starring in Ender's Game, Romeo & Juliet and The Homesman. Her upcoming films include indie action-comedy Barely Lethal, musical sequel Pitch Perfect 2 and Term Life, starring Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn. She's also attached to star in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Dustin Lance Black's adaptation of the popular YA novel written by Jennifer E. Smith. She's repped by ICM Partners, Coast to Coast and Hirsch Wallerstein.

Johnson, who has also produced and directed dozens of music videos, will make her feature directorial debut with Carrie Pilby, but has been a busy producer with her Braveart Films banner for many years. Her past films include 2004's Mean Creek, 2006's Eye of the Dolphin, 2008's Wieners and 2013's The Between. The film is being packaged and will be represented by UTA and ICM Partners.