ONTD original: 15 books Reese Witherspoon is adapting for the screen


Reese Witherspoon's production house, Pacific Standard, aims to bring challenging, dynamic female characters to the screen, and is currently developing a number of projects, most of them book adaptations. She's already had huge hits with Gone Girl and Wild. Reese also maintains an online book club, #RWbookclub. Several publications have referred to Reese as a new literary "power broker", and according to The Wall Street Journal, any time the actress/producer mentions a book on her social media, its Amazon ranking soars.

Here's a look at what book adaptations Reese is bringing to the screen soon:

1. Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty)



From the director of Wild and Dallas Buyers Club, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott, James Tupper and Zoë Kravitz star in HBO's limited series "Big Little Lies," premiering February 19 at 9PM.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. (Goodreads)


2. Luckiest Girl Alive (Jessica Knoll)


Reese will be starring in this adaptation, which landed at Lionsgate.

Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears. (Goodreads)


3. In a Dark, Dark Wood (Ruth Ware)


The studio for this adaption is New Line Cinema, and Reese will reportedly direct.

Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back. Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her? But something goes wrong. Very wrong. Some things can’t stay secret for ever. (Goodreads)


4. The Thing About Jellyfish (Ali Benjamin)


Currently in development.

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don't just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door. (Goodreads)


5. All Is Not Forgotten (Wendy Walker)


Warner Bros. won the bidding war for the rights of this adaptation.

In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut everything seems picture perfect. Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world. As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town - or perhaps lives among them - drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion. (Goodreads)


6. Truly Madly Guilty (Liane Moriarty)


Reese's Pacific Standard will be co-producing this adaptation with Nicole Kidman's own banner, Blossom Films.

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm. (Goodreads)


7. Ashley's War (Gayle Lemmon)


Fox 2000 won the bidding war for the film rights, and Abi Morgan will be the screenwriter.

In Ashley’s War, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon uses exhaustive firsthand reporting and a finely tuned understanding of the complexities of war to tell the story of CST-2, a unit of women hand-picked from across the Army, and the remarkable hero at its heart: 1st Lt. Ashley White, who would become the first Cultural Support Team member killed in action and the first CST remembered on the Army Special Operations Memorial Wall of Honor alongside the Army Rangers with whom she served. (Goodreads)


8. Barbie And Ruth: The Story Of The World’s Most Famous Doll And The Woman Who Created Her (Robin Gerber)


Currently in development, but so far no studio attached.

Barbie and Ruth is the entwined story of two exceptional women. There's Barbie: the diminutive yet arrestingly voluptuous doll unveiled at the 1959 Toy Fair who became the treasure of 90 percent of American girls and their counterparts in 150 countries. She went on to compete as an Olympic athlete, serve as an air force pilot, work as a boutique owner, run as a presidential candidate, and ignite a cultural firestorm. And then there's Ruth Handler, Barbie's creator: the tenth child of Polish Jewish immigrants, a passionately competitive and creative business pioneer, and a mother and wife who wanted it all. After a business scandal that forced Ruth out of Mattel, the company she founded, she drew on her experience as a breast cancer survivor to start a business that changed women's lives. She was ultimately honored as a pioneer, humanitarian, and masterful entrepreneur. (Goodreads)


9. Opening Belle (Maureen Sherry Klinsky)


Warner Bros. is moving ahead with this adaptation, which already has screenwriter Matthew Aldrich attached. Reese aims to star.

Getting rich on Wall Street would be a lot more fun if the men would keep their hands off her assets. A whip-smart and funny novel told by a former Wall Street insider who reveals what it’s like for a working woman to balance love, ambition, and family in a world of glamorous excess, outrageous risk-taking, and jaw-dropping sexism. (Goodreads)


10. Second Life (S.J. Watson)


This adaptation landed at Warner Bros. and is in development.

She loves her husband. She's obsessed by a stranger.
She's a devoted mother. She's prepared to lose everything.
She knows what she's doing. She's out of control.
She's innocent. She's guilty as sin.
She's living two lives. She might lose both... (Goodreads)


11. The Dry (Jane Harper)


Currently in development.

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret... A secret Falk thought long-buried... A secret which Luke's death starts to bring to the surface... (Goodreads)


12. Napkin Notes (Garth Callaghan)


This is being adapted by New Line Cinema, screenplay by Mike Binder.

Every morning as he packs Emma’s lunch, Garth adds a little surprise: a “napkin note”—a short, tender message to convey his love, encouragement, and pride. Garth began writing his napkin notes when Emma was in grade school, and as she grew up, his notes became more meaningful. Shortly after Emma turned twelve, Garth learned he had kidney cancer. Determined to make the time he has left meaningful, he has compiled years’ worth of notes to get his daughter through her high school graduation. (Goodreads)


13. First Women (Kate Andersen Brower)


Robin Wright will direct and co-produce this adaptation, which will be a TV series. No network attached yet.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the groundbreaking backstairs look at the White House, The Residence, comes an intimate, news-making look at the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the First Ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama. (Goodreads)


14. The Outliers (Kimberly McCreight)


It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself. This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him. But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning? (Goodreads)


15. Penguin Bloom (Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive)


Naomi Watts is attached to star and co-produce.

Penguin the Magpie is a global social media sensation. People the world over have fallen in love with the stunning and deeply personal images of this rescued bird and her human family. But there is far more to Penguin's story than meets the eye. It begins with a shocking accident, in which Cameron's wife, Sam, suffers a near fatal fall that leaves her paralysed and deeply depressed. Into their lives comes Penguin, an injured magpie chick abandoned after she fell from her nest. Penguin's rescue and the incredible joy and strength she gives Sam and all those who helped her survive demonstrates that, however bleak things seem, compassion, friendship and support can come from unexpected quarters, ensuring there are always better days ahead. (Goodreads)


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which ones of these are you looking forward to, ONTD? (also, book post)