Fox Searchlight Pictures announced today that principal photography on CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? has begun in New York City. The film is directed by Marielle Heller (THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL) from a script written by Nicole Holofcener (ENOUGH SAID) and Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) based on the novel of the same name by Lee Israel. The film stars Academy Award® nominated Melissa McCarthy (THE BOSS), Richard E. Grant (JACKIE), Jane Curtin (THE HEAT), Dolly Wells (BRIDGET JONES’S BABY), Anna Deavere Smith (“Black-ish”) and Jennifer Westfeldt (KISSING JESSICA STEIN). Archer Gray President of Production Anne Carey (20TH CENTURY WOMEN), Archer Gray founder Amy Nauiokas (THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL) and personal close friend of Lee Israel, David Yarnell (“Firing Line”), produce with Pamela Hirsch (MILES AHEAD), Jawal Nga and Bob Balaban serving as executive producers.
"I'm overjoyed to be starting principal photography on this film, with this fantastic group of collaborators. Working with Melissa, Richard E. Grant and the rest of our tremendous cast, Searchlight and Anne Carey and all my wonderful producers is a dream come true. Now, more than ever, it is imperative we tell the stories of women and all people who have gone unnoticed by society. I'm honored to be helming this very special film." says Heller.
"For Archer Gray to be working with Marielle Heller again is absolutely thrilling. She has assembled a fantastic cast and crew. We also couldn’t ask for better partners than Fox Searchlight. Bringing Lee's story to life has been a long journey with support from so many people along the way. Knowing Lee as I did, I am certain she would be delighted by this incarnation.” says Carey.
Melissa McCarthy stars in the adaptation of the memoir CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, the true story of best-selling celebrity biographer (and friend to cats) Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) who made her living in the 1970’s and 80’s profiling the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E. Grant).
Joining Heller on the film is director of photography Brandon Trost (THIS IS THE END), production designer Stephen Carter (SPOTLIGHT), editor Anne McCabe (ADVENTURELAND) and costume designer Arjun Bhasin (LIFE OF PI).
Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and the films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of 21st Century Fox.
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