Jennifer Lawrence is officially returning to the big screen and, in a surprise move, has decided to end her year-long acting hiatus not with a major Hollywood studio but by returning to her indie roots. The Oscar winner is set to star in a secret new film from A24 and IAC FILMS. The project is being set up as the feature filmmaking debut of Lila Neugebauer, an acclaimed theater director who most recently revived Kenneth Lonergan’s “The Waverly Gallery” on Broadway. The production starred Elaine May and Lucas Hedges and was produced by Eli Bush and Scott Rudin, both of whom will produce the Lawrence movie.
Getting a massive international star like Lawrence is a huge gain for A24. The studio is releasing buzzy Sundance titles “The Farewell,” “The Souvenir,” and “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” in theaters this summer, plus Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” follow-up “Midsommar.” Lawrence got her start with indie films such as Debra Granik’s “Winter’s Bone,” which resulted in her first Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Lawrence won the Oscar for “Silver Lining’s Playbook,” distributed by The Weinstein Company.
Lawrence announced in February 2018 she was taking a break from acting in order to focus on political activism and social work. The decision was made following a non-stop run of projects for the actress, including “Joy,” “Passengers,” “mother!,” and “Red Sparrow.” While the actress can be seen reprising her role of Mystique in this summer’s “X-Men” tentpole “Dark Phoenix,” the film ended production in October 2017. Lawrence has not signed on for a movie since then, making the upcoming A24 film her first project in well over a year.
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Further details on the Lawrence-A24 project are being kept under wraps for now, including the film’s official title. First-time screenwriter Elizabeth Sanders wrote the film, which is expected to begin filming in New Orleans this June. The project is another high profile movie in the pipeline for A24, which recently announced it was partnering with Rudin on an adaptation of “Macbeth,” directed by Joel Coen and starring Francis McDormand and Denzel Washington. Rudin also produced A24’s “Lady Bird.”