Hot off being the first black woman ever nominated for the Adapted Screenplay Oscar (for Netflix’s Mudbound), Dee Rees is back with streamer for her new film, an adaptation of the Joan Didion political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted. Anne Hathaway is attached to star.
The rights to the novel were optioned in 2016 by Mudbound producer Cassian Elwes. Rees is co-producing and also co-wrote the script with Marco Villalobos.
The story centers around Elena McMahon (Hathaway), a reporter for the Washington Post who quits her job covering the 1984 Presidential primaries to care for her father after her mother’s death. In an unusual turn of events, she inherits his position as an arms dealer for the U.S. Government in Central America. In this sparsely written, quick paced narrative, Elena struggles to cope with the spies, American military personnel, and the consequences of her father’s errors that are waiting for her on a small island off the coast of Costa Rica.
“Dee Rees is an incredibly talented filmmaker who continues to make provocative and entertaining films,” said Netflix film group head Scott Stuber. “We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Dee and proud to have her part of the Netflix family.”
Last season, Mudbound was the film that broke Netflix into the narrative feature races at the Academy Awards as well as setting three Oscar records; earning nominations for Mary J. Blige in Supporting Actress and Original Song (a first for a performer for the same film in the same year), Adapted Screenplay (mentioned above) and the first Cinematography nomination ever for a woman (Rachel Morrison).
Principal photography on The Last Thing He Wanted is expected to start this summer.