Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley are set to co-star in “My Salinger Year,” the big-screen adaptation of Joanna Rakoff’s international bestseller, which will be directed by Oscar-nominated Canadian director Philippe Falardeau.
Memento Films International (“Call Me by Your Name”) has come on board to handle international sales and is co-representing the U.S. rights with UTA Independent Film Group.
“This is a total crowd-pleaser that will draw a substantial audience,” said Tanja Meissner, head of international sales at Memento. “All the relevant ingredients are assembled: an irresistibly charming and tender story in which ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ meets the literary world.”
“My Salinger Year” will start shooting in Montreal and New York this Spring. Luc Déry and Kim McCraw from micro_scope are producing the film. The Canadian company’s critically acclaimed credits include Denis Villeneuve’s “Incendies” and “Enemy,” as well as Falardeau’s “Monsieur Lazhar,” which was nominated for the foreign-language Oscar in 2012.
Written by Falardeau and based on Rakoff’s book, “My Salinger Year” takes place in New York in the ’90s and follows Joanna (Qualley), who leaves graduate school to pursue her dream of becoming a writer and gets hired as an assistant to Margaret (Weaver), the stoic and old-fashioned literary agent of J. D. Salinger.
Fluctuating between poverty and glamour, Qualley spends her days in a plush office and her nights in a sink-less Brooklyn apartment with her socialist boyfriend. Joanna’s main task is processing Salinger’s voluminous fan mail, but as she reads letters from around the world, she impulsively begins personalizing the responses, discovering her own voice in the process.
“After directing seven features starring mostly male protagonists, I was longing to shift the paradigm and tell a story from a female perspective,” said Falardeau, whose credits also include “The Good Lie” and “Chuck,” starring Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts and Elisabeth Moss, which premiered in Venice and Toronto.
“I now get to do that with the help of two very talented actresses who should prove to make an exciting duo in this mentor-mentee story,” Falardeau said.
“My Salinger Year” is co-produced by Ruth Coady and Susan Mullen at Irish company Parallel Films (“Brooklyn,” “Mary Shelley”) in Ireland. Jane Skalski at Next Wednesday Films and author Rakoff are exec-producing.
Memento Films International, which had a banner year in 2018 with the Oscar-winning “Call Me by Your Name,” is boasting a strong slate of prestige English-language films, notably Benedict Andrews’ “Against All Enemies,” with Kristen Stewart.
“My Salinger Year” will be distributed in Canada by Mongrel Media.
Falardeau, Weaver and Qualley are repped by UTA, and Rakoff by WME. Qualley is also repped by Management 360 and attorney Harris Hartman.