Two women writers who have made a big mark in the film world are taking their talents to the small screen. "Bridesmaids" co-writer Annie Mumolo has a drama in development at HBO, while Stephenie Meyer, the author of the books that the "Twilight" films are based on, is developing "The Rook" — a supernatural show that will stream on Hulu and air on an unidentified major British broadcaster — with Lionsgate. Both series will focus on female protagonists.
Mumolo is co-writing the script for the currently untitled show at the premium cable network, which will be executive produced by Laura Dern. The series centers on a trailblazing saleswoman — no word on who will play her yet — who popularized the practice of marketing through home parties.
Deadline writes that the story will reveal "how she impacted people globally, on a subversive level, in profound and even shocking ways." (Perhaps the writers’ room will tackle sex-toy parties?) Dern is also exec-producing "Tiny Beautiful Things" for HBO with her "Wild" co-star Reese Witherspoon.
Meyer’s project, "The Rook," is based on Daniel O’Malley’s 2012 genre novel of the same name. (A sequel, "Stiletto," is set for publication next year). The main character, Myfanwy Thomas, has special powers and works for a government organization with the mandate of protecting the public from supernatural threats.
"The Rook" sees Meyer reuniting with Lionsgate, the studio behind the "Twilight" franchise. The five "Twilight" movies earned a collective $3.3 billion at the box office, so their interest in getting back into business with Meyer comes as no surprise. The studio and Meyer also collaborated on "The Storytellers – New Creative Voices of ‘The Twilight Saga," a competition that asked female filmmakers to continue the "Twilight" legacy via short films.
"It’s been really exciting to do something, maybe not on a huge scale, but on a small scale to get more female voices out there,” said Meyer during a Q&A in July. She explained, "In any given room, you are talking to 50 male directors and one female director pitching for the same project. What was exciting about this project is someone was willing to put their money where their mouth was.”
We’re optimistic that Meyer will use her clout as executive producer on the Hulu series to ensure that they hire female directors.