Back in 2011, both Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer earned Oscar nominations (in the same category) for their performances in writer-director Tate Taylor‘s The Help; Spencer would go on to win the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. Now, the duo is teaming up once again for an untitled holiday comedy that landed at Universal after the studio outbid competitors like Fox and Paramount for the project.
As THR reports, Chastain and Spencer will star in an original script about two women attempting to make it home for Christmas. Chastain and Kelly Carmichael (Nine) wrote the original treatment, with Peter Chiarelli (Now You See Me 2, The Proposal) onboard to write the script. And if you need a little more to go on than that simple logline, picture this: a take on Planes, Trains & Automobiles with female leads. That do anything for you?
If you’re unfamiliar with the Thanksgiving (yes, Thanksgiving) classic, it starred Steve Martin as Neal Page, an uptight guy who hits a spot of bad luck while trying to get home for the holidays. His luck gets worse when he runs into the jokey, jovial salesman Del Griffith (played by the late, great John Candy), who hamstrings his trip home in increasingly ridiculous and hilarious ways. As you might expect from a film written and directed by John Hughes, there’s a bit of tugging on the ol’ heartstrings along the way to an eventual heart-warming ending.
What remains to be seen is just how closely to P,T&A this untitled comedy will hew and what roles Chastain and Spencer will take on. Either way, it’s obviously a hot commodity as far as the studios are concerned. Keep an eye out for this one!
Chastain will also produce through Freckle Films, along with Maven Pictures, while Carmichael–also the head of production and development for the Freckle Films banner–produces alongside Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler. Universal’s Erik Baiers and Mika Pryce will oversee the project.