Here’s a good tip: if you’re making a movie that will be set in New York City’s 1920s underworld, don’t called it “The Other Typist.” That title makes it sound like a drama between two dueling secretaries, battling over a prized Underwood. But the good news is that there will be plenty of time to change that name.
We’ll see what producer and star Keira Knightley eventually settles on as she develops the adaptation of Suzanne Rindell’s novel. Set up at Fox Searchlight, there’s no word yet on who will pen the script, but the source material is already drawing comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock and Patricia Highsmith, which is not bad at all. The story follows Rose Baker, a typist for the NYPD who falls into a friendship with the new girl in her pool, Odalie, and is soon drawn into a nighttime world of speakeasies, while trying to keep up her day job with the cops. Here’s the Amazon synopsis:
Rose Baker seals men’s fates. With a few strokes of the keys that sit before her, she can send a person away for life in prison. A typist in a New York City Police Department precinct, Rose is like a high priestess. Confessions are her job. It is 1923, and while she may hear every detail about shootings, knifings, and murders, as soon as she leaves the interrogation room she is once again the weaker sex, best suited for filing and making coffee.
This is a new era for women, and New York is a confusing place for Rose. Gone are the Victorian standards of what is acceptable. All around her women bob their hair, they smoke, they go to speakeasies. Yet prudish Rose is stuck in the fading light of yesteryear, searching for the nurturing companionship that eluded her childhood. When glamorous Odalie, a new girl, joins the typing pool, despite her best intentions Rose falls under Odalie’s spell. As the two women navigate between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night and their work at the station by day, Rose is drawn fully into Odalie’s high-stakes world. And soon her fascination with Odalie turns into an obsession from which she may never recover.
So yeah, sounds pretty promising, but it’s still a way off. Until then, Knightley has wrapped the indie “Laggies,” will shoot “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch and work her blockbuster chops in “Jack Ryan” this holiday season. [THR]