Hot on the heels of her historic Oscar nomination, Killers of the Flower Moon breakout Lily Gladstone has found her next starring role, one that reteams her with filmmaker Martin Scorsese.
Gladstone is attached to star in The Memory Police, a hot package that is coming together. It will adapt of the acclaimed 1994 science fiction novel by Yoko Ogawa. Reed Morano, who helmed episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale as well as indie I Think We’re Alone Now, is on board to direct the feature whose story has tones of Franz Kafka and George Orwell, and fittingly comes armed with a script by Charlie Kaufman, the writer of such mind-tripping movies as Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
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Morano and Margot Hand of Picture Films will produce. Scorsese will executive produce along with Ogawa.
Ogawa’s novel is a parable taking place on an unnamed island off an unnamed coast where a majority of the island’s residents are subject to collective amnesia. They endure a process of forgetting things, including objects, people and daily rituals, with the amnesia enforced by an organization called The Memory Police. In the story, a novelist tries to hide her editor, who can still remember, from the Memory Police, while he encourages her to write her book.
Ogawa’s novel, originally released in 1994 with an English translation published in 2019, was a finalist for the National Book Award, International Booker Price and World Fantasy Award.
It was the latest feather in her cap as during her career, Ogawa has won every major Japanese literary award, including the Akutagawa Prize and the Yomiuri Prize. Internationally, she has been the recipient of the Shirley Jackson Award and the American Book Award.
The timing of the package couldn’t be more red hot.
This week, Gladstone made history when she became the first Native American actor to be nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Scorsese’s historical drama as true-life Osage Nation member Mollie Kyle. Her performance as a woman who barely survives a plot from her husband (Leonardo DiCaprio) to rob her of oil rights has been one of the talks of the awards season and had thrust the indie actress onto the global stage.
Gladstone won the Golden Globe for best actress earlier this month. She has also been named best actress by the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle and is set to receive the Virtuoso Award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Gladstone also stars in The Unknown Country, out now, for which she won the 2023 Gotham Award for outstanding lead performance. She was previously nominated for her breakthrough role in Kelly Reichardt’s 2016 drama Certain Women, which earned her a best supporting actress nom at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Morano notched her own historic mark when she became the only woman to have won both the Emmy and DGA awards in the same year, for directing the 2017 pilot of Handmaid’s Tale. The cinematographer turned helmer made her directorial debut with Meadowland, starring Olivia Wilde, which she followed up with the Sundance award-winning I Think We’re Alone Now, starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning. She also directed action movie The Rhythm Section that starred Blake Lively, Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown.
Gladstone is repped by IAG, Authentic Talent & Literary Management and McKuin Frankel Whitehead. Morano is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment; Scorsese, by WME and LBI Entertainment; and Ogawa, by CAA and Japan Foreign Rights Centre.
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