'Patti Cake$' Breakout Danielle Macdonald Joins Jennifer Aniston in 'Dumplin' (Exclusive)

Photographed By Justin Coit
Danielle Macdonald

Macdonald will play a girl who enters a beauty contest to get a rise out of her mother, but ends up redefining the pageant's traditions.

Danielle Macdonald, the breakout star of Sundance movie Patti Cake$, has booked her next starring role.

The Australia native will star opposite Jennifer Aniston in comedy-drama Dumplin'. The film, helmed by The Proposal and Step Up director Anne Fletcher, is based on Julie Murphy’s 2015 YA novel that follows Willowdean Dickson (Macdonald), who was given the nickname "Dumplin'" by her former beauty queen mom (Aniston). An outspoken, plus-size teen and obsessive Dolly Parton fan, Willowdean signs up for her small-town pageant to get a rise out of her mother, who runs it. But her one-day protest takes on a life of its own when a group of social outcasts from Will’s school sign up in solidarity — dubbing themselves "the Revolutionaries" — and urge her to take on the pageant and boldly redefine its traditions.

Kristin Hahn wrote the adaptation of the Texas-set story and will produce with Michael Costigan. Costigan, who produced Macdonald’s U.S. debut, 2013's The East, will produce under his COTA Films banner with MTAF Productions' Mohamed al-Rafi. Hahn and Trish Hofmann are also producing.  

Aniston is executive producing the music-driven comedy, which is set to begin principal photography in August in Atlanta. CAA and UTA are representing domestic rights, while IMR is handling international sales.

Fletcher's list of credits speaks to her ability to helm adult comedies and character-driven films with strong female leads, including Hot Pursuit (2015) with Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, 27 Dresses (2008) with Katherine Heigl and The Proposal (2009) with Sandra Bullock.

Macdonald received critical acclaim for her role as aspiring New Jersey rapper Killah P in Patti Cake$, which first played in January at Sundance and is set for release Aug. 18 via Fox Searchlight.

The former THR Next Big Thing is repped by Justice & Ponder, CAA and Felker, Toczek.