'Star Wars' Franchise Writer Lawrence Kasdan to Tackle Anita Bryant Movie for Amazon (Exclusive)

Lawrence Kasdan and Anita Bryant - One Time Use Only - Split - Getty - H 2018
Left, Dominique Charriau, right, Reg Innell, both Getty Images

Kasdan will write and direct a movie based on the life of the musician turned gay rights opponent.

Now that his work in a galaxy far, far away is done, Lawrence Kasdan has set his sights on a more Earthbound project, this one for Amazon Studios.

Kasdan will write and direct a movie based on the life of Anita Bryant — the beauty queen turned musician turned gay rights opponent — for the streamer. 

Bryant started her career as the second runner-up in the Miss America beauty pageant and rose to fame with songs like "Paper Roses." She would go on to sing at Super Bowls and at the graveside of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was later named the spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Commission. But she became better known for her religious and political leanings. 

In the late 1970s, Bryant began lobbying and heavily campaigning against anti-discrimination ordinances on the basis of sexual orientation as the head of the Save Our Children coalition. She is still remembered as a one of the decade's major opponents to gay rights and appeared in Gus Van Sant's Milk (2008) in recovered news footage.

Bruce Cohen, who produced Milk and won an Oscar for producing American Beauty, is producing the project along with Allison Sarofim, Stuart Parr and Hunter Hill. Kasdan will also produce.

Kasdan is a Hollywood vet who worked on two back-to-back classics right out of the gate: He co-wrote the second Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back, as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark. The last few years have seen him back in the Empire’s fold, working on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the latest movie in the franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story.

In the years in between, Kasdan racked up not only impressive writing credits but also directing cred with the defining yuppie movie The Big Chill, the all-star Western Silverado, Kevin Costner’s Wyatt Earp and even a Stephen King adaptation with Dreamcatcher. He also wrote The Bodyguard, the early 1990s tearjerker that starred Costner and Whitney Houston.

Kasdan is repped by CAA.