Julia Stiles has just signed on to play screenwriter Frances Marion in Jennifer DeLia’s The First, which is based on Eileen Whitfield’s biography Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood.
Frances Marion was the first woman to win an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay in 1930 for The Big House. She later won again in 1932 for The Champ. Marion worked often with Mary Pickford—on films that would be Pickford’s most iconic—including The Poor Little Rich Girl. Pickford will be played by Lily Rabe, who was positively revelatory on American Horror Story: Asylum this season. The press release describes The First as focusing on “Pickford’s life from a woman’s point of view and will illuminate the artistry, spirituality, and integrity that moved Mary Pickford through the ground-breaking and controversial world of her time.”
DeLia commented on the casting of Stiles as Marion:
As in our casting Lily Rabe as Pickford, Julia is someone I could instantly envision in that era and within the world of Old Hollywood. I’ve watched her work since I was a kid in the mid-90’s when she was emerging as a very cool and very talented actress, and in my eyes, she has never wavered from being someone totally dedicated to what she does. Her range is so interesting, even seeing her recently in ‘Silver Linings Playbook;’ her performance was a highlight for me. Everyone on the production team couldn’t be more excited about Julia becoming a part of this project.
We’ll continue to keep tabs on the development of this project.