A new film has been set up at Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures entitled 20th Century Women. The film has already collected an impressive ensemble cast with Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, and Elle Fanning set to join the comedy/drama written and to be directed by Mike Mills. Mills previously directed the acclaimed 2011 indie Beginners, which was a semi-autobiographical account of a man coming to terms with his father’s late-in-life coming out of the closet; it won actor Christopher Plummer a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.
20th Century Women will be set in late 70s Santa Barbara and concerns Dorothea Fields (to be played by Bening), a mother attempting to raise a 16-year-old boy named Jamie. In trying to set her son up for the best lease on life, Dorothea taps the experience of two women from different generations to set her son on the path of being of man. Gerwig is set to play Abbie, a world weary photographer submerged in the punk culture of the time, and Fanning will play a sexually precocious 16-year-old girl. Mills wrote the screenplay drawing from experiences from his own life. “The film is an ode to the women who raised me; my mom, my sisters, the girls I was in love with or looked up to at school and in the punk rock scene where I really learned about the world,” Mills mentioned. Filming is set to commence later this year in California.
With its top-drawer cast, 20th Century Women will have an impressive pedigree. Bening, who was earned four Oscar nominations throughout her career, was last seen onscreen opposite Al Pacino in the indie Danny Collins. She will next be seen in husband Warren Beatty‘s eagerly anticipated comeback film – a still-untitled project revolving around Howard Hughes that is expected to come out sometime later this year. Gerwig has been in demand since her Golden Globe-nominated performance in the 2013 indie Frances Ha (a film she co-wrote with director Noah Baumbach) and will next be seen in the Sundance Film Festival hit Mistress America. She will also appear in Maggie’s Plan, the next film from director Rebecca Miller (Personal Velocity).
Fanning is equally busy. She was last seen opposite Angelina Jolie in the Disney blockbuster Maleficent and will next be seen in a pair of buzzed-about indies – opposite Bryan Cranstan in Trumbo and portraying a transgendered teenager in Three Generations, a new film co-starring Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon. Fanning is also attached to portray author Mary Shelley in an upcoming period bio called A Storm in the Stars for director Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadjda), and is currently filming a new horror film called The Neon Demon for director Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive).
Mills made his feature debut with the 2005 indie Thumbsucker, an acclaimed adaptation of Walter Kirn’s novel. Beginners, released in the summer of 2011 from Focus Features, starred Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Melanie Laurent. 20th Century Women will mark his third feature film.