The First is Josh Fagin’s adaptation of Eileen Whitfield’s biography, Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood. Mary Pickford, along with partners Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith, created United Artists, and was one of the original 36 co-founders of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Lily Rabe (American Horror Story, All Good Things), daughter of Academy Award nominee Jill Clayburgh (An Unmarried Woman, Starting Over), stars as the iconic Mary Pickford. Julia Stiles (Silver Linings Playbook), has been cast as the groundbreaking screenwriter Frances Marion, the first woman to win an Oscar (in 1930), for her adaptation of Big House, and won again in 1932 for her original story The Champ. Mary Pickford became Marion’s creative muse, and they collaborated on Pickford’s signature films, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and The Poor Little Rich Girl.
Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire), will portray Mary Pickford’s first husband, Owen Moore. James Wirt (The Order of Things), will play Charlie Chaplin, and David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck, Lincoln), is D.W. Griffith. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Lillian Gish are still to be cast.
Mary Pickford began in the unsophisticated world of vaudeville and reached international fame and fortune as one of silent films most important performers. She was known as ‘America’s Sweetheart’, and the ‘Face of the American Military’. AMPAS and the Mary Pickford Foundation have partnered on an initiative to promote the legacy of Mary Pickford and the silent film era, in order to educate the public of its history and impact on our culture.
Jennifer DeLia will be directing and co-producing with her partner from Poverty Row Entertainment, Julie Pacino, as well as Said Zahraoni. David Ranes will executive produce.