Australian actor Rebel Wilson will make her directorial debut with The Deb, which begins production later this year.
Set in rural Australia, the film follows Taylah Simpkins (Natalie Abbott), a farm girl whose life is disrupted when her moody city-girl cousin Maeve (Charlotte McInnes) comes to stay. Together, they must get past their differences and find a date for the Debutante Ball, both subsequently embarking on journeys of self-discovery.
The Debs is adapted from the popular musical of the same name, written by Hannah Reilly. It debuted at Sydney’s Australian Theatre for Young People last year. Wilson will be co-producing the movie version alongside Bunya Productions with her Camp Sugar Productions banner.
Not only will The Debs feature established Australian actors, such as Tara Morice and Shane Jacobson, but it will also feature some of the country’s biggest rising stars, such as McInnes and Abbott.
Discussing the film, Wilson said (via Hollywood Reporter): “The Deb is my type of movie — full of humor, full of heart, and uniquely Australian but with universal themes. It came out of my scholarship program at the non-profit Australian Theatre for Young People, a program that I’m very proud of and has had incredible success. If there was ever a movie I was going to direct, it would be this one.”
She added: “This project is just so special and original. Hannah and Meg have done an outstanding job writing it, and to collaborate with Amanda, Len, Gregor, and the team at Bunya down under has been amazing. We’re utilizing the best musical resources in the world and the most fantastic Australian talent to bring this project to the screen”.