Nearly four years after New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor broke the bombshell Harvey Weinstein sex scandal report, Hollywood is ready to tell the story of how these two reporters persevered to break this game-changing story. Universal Pictures is prepping She Said, a drama based on the New York Times bestseller She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement. Uni is in negotiations with Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan to star as Twohey and Kantor. The film is set to begin production this summer and will be directed by Unorthodox director Maria Schrader from a script by Oscar-winner Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Everyone in Hollywood remembers where they were when the first story ran on October 5, 2017 when Kantor and Twohey revealed an array of alleged sexual harassment and assaults against women by The Weinstein Company co-chairman and indie film mogul Weinstein, misdeeds that dated back decades. The article included details of hush money paid to cover up the sexual indiscretions, and first-person accounts by actresses accusing Weinstein of non-consensual sexual indiscretions. The article would not only lead to Weinstein being fired by the TWC board and eventually found guilty and sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape but also spurred the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that are still making major impacts across the world while also completely changing the landscape of Hollywood forever.
The thrust of the film isn’t Weinstein or his scandal. This is about an all-women team of journalists who persevered through threats of litigation and intimidation, told in a procedural manner like Spotlight and All the President’s Men.
In 2018, Annapurna Pictures and Plan B Entertainment optioned the rights to She Said under their co-production deal. Oscar nominee Megan Ellison will executive produce for Annapurna with Sue Naegle. Oscar winners Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner will produce for Plan B.
Universal’s Vice President of Production Lexi Barta will oversee the project for the studio.
Universal giving the greenlight to the production makes sense given how Studio Chair Donna Langley has been at forefront at pushing for more female fronted projects. Given the female starpower in front of and behind the camera, this certainly falls in line with what she has been trying to do with her slate over her tenure as Universal Studio head.