NEON acquires rights to Elisabeth Moss’ psychological drama Shirley
After Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite made history at last night’s Academy Awards for winning four major Oscar awards including Best Director and Best Picture, Deadline brings word that Neon has successfully acquired the North American theatrical distribution rights to director Josephine Decker’s forthcoming psychological drama film Shirley. Starring Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actress Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale), the film centers on acclaimed horror author Shirley Jackson (The Lottery, The Haunting of Hill House), who died in 1965 at the age of 48.
NEON is best known for releasing award-winning films such as: the biopic dramedy I, Tonya starring Margot Robbie; the historical drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire; the documentary film Honeyland; and Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy thriller Parasite. The distributor recently acquired the rights to two films consisting of Andy Samberg’s romantic comedy Palm Springs; and the romantic drama Ammonite starring Golden Globe winners Saoire Ronan and Kate Winslet.
Based on Susan Scarf Merrell’s novel of the same name, Shirley tells the story of a young couple that moves in with Jackson and her Bennington College professor-husband, Stanley Hyman, in the hopes of starting a new life. Instead, they find themselves fodder for a psycho-drama that inspires Jackson’s next major novel.
The film stars award-winning actress Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Her Smell) as Shirley Jackson, Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name, The Shape of Water) as Stanley Edgar Hyman, Logan Lerman (Perks of Being a Wallflower) as Fred Nemser and Odessa Young (The Daughter) as Rose Nemser.
Shirley is directed by Josephine Decker from a screenplay adapted by Sarah Gubbins. Killer Films’ Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa are producing along with Moss, Gubbins, and Sue Naegle. Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman of Los Angeles Media Fund are also serving as producers and financiers.
The film had its world premiere last month at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival with Decker winning the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Auteur Filmmaking.