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The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo Finds Director In Leslye Headland

Leslye Headland will helm the adaptation of a New York Times bestseller for Netflix.

News broke on June 29 that Headland will direct the streamer's highly anticipated adaptation of "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo," exclusively reported by Deadline before other outlets made the announcement as well. She'll work alongside Liz Tigelaar — the film's screenwriter — who most recently worked on "Tiny Beautiful Things."

Deadline notes that this project has been highly in demand ever since it was released; originally, the novelist, Taylor Jenkins Reid, was set to work on a television adaptation for Freeform alongside Jennifer Beals and Ilene Chaiken ("The L Word"). That was in 2019, though, and in 2021, Reid confirmed that Freeform had given up the rights, and Netflix announced their movie adaptation in early 2022. No major casting announcements have been made, but with Headland set to direct, we can expect those soon, and Jessica Chastain has at least expressed interest in playing one of its most pivotal characters.

The book is, to put it lightly, insanely popular, thanks to a TikTok boost (known on the platform as "BookTok") and its whopping 120 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. Now, fans of "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" is getting the same adaptation treatment as Reid's other buzzy novel, "Daisy Jones and the Six," which premiered in 2023 as an Amazon Prime miniseries... and Headland is the perfect choice to lead the project.

Leslye Headland is an indie director fresh off a major Star Wars project

Fans of Headland's quirkier, smaller projects like 2012's rip-roaring "Bachelorette", 2014's David Mamet spin "About Last Night," and 2016's unconventional love story "Sleeping with Other People" were probably thrilled when the director booked a major "Star Wars" project... and in the time that's passed since Headland scored a directing job on "The Acolyte," her profile has only risen. When footage dropped from the series during the 2023 Star Wars Celebration event in April, audiences got their first glimpses of the exciting series, which stars Carrie Anne-Moss alongside Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, and more.

"The Acolyte" certainly isn't Headland's first foray into television, either. She's worked on comedies like "SMILF" and "Black Monday," and perhaps most notably, she co-created the Netflix dark comedy "Russian Doll" with star Natasha Lyonne, writing three episodes and directing four episodes during Season 1. In 2022, she also directed the pilot of the Freeform series "Single Drunk Female." Now, she'll adapt Reid's incredibly popular novel, which spans decades and splits its perspective between a young reporter and an aging movie star who's determined to tell her story on her own terms for the first time.

What is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo about?

So what kind of story will Leslye Headland and her probably insanely talented cast be telling? The point of view in Reid's original novel splits between young journalist Monique Grant, who's writing for the fictional Vivant Magazine, and her deeply intimate interviews with Evelyn Hugo, an imposing movie star designed in the mold of Elizabeth Taylor. Despite being a celebrated old Hollywood actress, Evelyn is best known for the fact that she married seven different men during her lifetime... even though the real love of her life was somebody completely different.

Evelyn leads Monique through her life and career from the very start to the book's present day, explaining each of her husbands in different sections that bear descriptors ranging from "brilliant, kindhearted, and tortured" to "gullible" to "disappointing." To say Evelyn doesn't have an easy life is an understatement, and for the first time, she tells the real story behind every tabloid rumor ever printed about her, though Monique wonders, throughout the majority of the book, why Evelyn chose her and only her as her interviewer. When that reason becomes clear, it changes Monique's life forever.

Anyone cast in "The Seven Lives of Evelyn Hugo" will have a huge story to tell... but luckily, they'll have an experienced and talented director to guide them through it all.