Cate Blanchett in Talks for Richard Linklater’s ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette?’

     November 13, 2015


While filmmaker Richard Linklater’s plans to collaborate with Jennifer Lawrence on The Rosie Project fell through, it appears he’ll be working with an Oscar winner on his next project regardless. The Boyhood filmmaker entered talks to helm an adaptation of author Maria Semple’s 2012 bestselling novel Where’d You Go Bernadette? earlier this year, and now THR reports that Cate Blanchett is in negotiations to come aboard as the film’s star.

The book revolves around a 15-year-old girl’s search for her mother, an agoraphobic architect who up and disappears one day. With the girl as its narrator, the novel is delightfully told through a series of emails, letters, secret correspondence, and FBI documents as the daughter tries to piece together what happened. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Semple’s novel, and if Linklater’s involvement wasn’t enough to get you excited, Blanchett’s sure will be.


Image via Sony Pictures Classics

The film has a script by (500) Days of Summer and The Fault in Our Stars scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and is being put together by Annapurna Pictures, which is yet another positive sign for this particular project. The Hunger Games vets Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are producing alongside Annapurna’s Megan Ellison.

Linklater has his Boyhood follow-up Everybody Wants Some in the can for release in 2016, and while he was initially planning to next direct The Rosie Project for Sony (also with a script by Neustadter and Weber), THR reports that Jennifer Lawrence walked away from that film after a lengthy and difficult negotiation with chairman Tom Rothman over salary. Linklater soon followed suit (Lawrence brought him into the project in the first place), and while it’s a bummer that that he and Lawrence won’t be working together in the immediate future, Blanchett is far from a consolation prize. She is certainly one of our finest living actresses, turning in not one but three outstanding performances this year alone in Carol, Truth, and Cinderella. And now she’s in an Annapurna movie with Richard Linklater directing? Here’s hoping Where’d You Go Bernadette? comes together sooner rather than later.


For more on Where’d You Go Bernadette? read the synopsis for the novel below.

Bernadette Fox has vanished.

When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces.


Which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where’d You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter’s love for her mother. []


Image via Sony Pictures Classics

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