EXCLUSIVE: Two-time Emmy winner Nicole Kidman (The Undoing), nine-time Emmy nom Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan), The White Lotus standout Meghann Fahy, two-time Critics’ Choice Award winner Dakota Fanning (The Alienist), and the Flora and Son duo of Eve Hewson and Jack Reynor are in various stages of negotiations to star in Netflix’s The Perfect Couple, sources tell Deadline. The limited series, to be directed and exec produced by Emmy winner Susanne Bier (The Undoing), comes from Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps.
Netflix declined to comment.
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The show previously set up at Fox, which unveiled its move to Netflix and its reconfigured creative team last August, is based on the New York Times bestselling novel of the same name by Elin Hilderbrand, published by Little, Brown and Company in 2018. It’s a six-episode murder mystery following Nantucket native Celeste Otis, who on the Fourth of July, is about to marry the perfect man, who just so happens to be from the wealthiest family in the area. But when a body is discovered floating in the harbor on the morning of what was to be the #weddingoftheyear, everyone at the party is suddenly a suspect.
Details as to the roles to be played by The Perfect Couple‘s first set of cast members haven’t been disclosed. But the show would reteam Kidman with Bier on the heels of their work together on the HBO crime sensation, The Undoing, also starring Hugh Grant. Bier also directed and EP’d that series, which was the premium cabler’s most-watched as of 2020. Also back to work with Bier is Fanning, who last teamed with the creative for The First Lady, an Emmy-nominated Showtime series also starring Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Gillian Anderson and more, which Bier directed and exec produced.
21 Laps developed the limited series under their overall deal with Netflix and will produce alongside The Jackal Group. It’s created by showrunner Jenna Lamia, who will exec produce alongside 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Josh Barry, Hilderbrand, and the Jackal Group’s Gail Berman and Hend Baghdady.
Winning her pair of Emmys as the EP and star of the beloved HBO series Big Little Lies, based on Liane Moriarty’s novel, Kidman also recently exec produced and starred in the Hulu miniseries Nine Perfect Strangers, based on the 2018 novel by Moriarty, prior to that starring in the second season of Jane Campion’s acclaimed crime drama Top of the Lake for Sundance TV. Additional series on the actress’ upcoming slate include Prime Video’s Expats from The Farewell‘s Lulu Wang and the streamer’s Kay Scarpetta, which has her set to play the title role opposite 2023 Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis, as well as Paramount+’s CIA drama Lioness from Yellowstone universe architect Taylor Sheridan. Upcoming films for Kidman include Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which has her reprising her DC role as Atlanna, Queen of Atlantis; Prime Video’s thriller Holland, Michigan from Fresh‘s Mimi Cave; and Netflix’s rom-com A Family Affair with Joey King and Zac Efron.
A 9x Emmy nominee and 6x Golden Globe nominee perhaps best known for starring in Showtime’s acclaimed crime drama Ray Donovan, which ran for seven seasons and got a feature-length continuation, Schreiber will next be seen playing Anne Frank’s father Otto in the miniseries A Small Light, coming soon to Disney+. The actor stars opposite Helen Mirren in Guy Nattiv’s Golda, which recently premiered in Berlin, and is otherwise best known for turns in a slew of decorated titles including Don’t Look Up, The French Dispatch, Spotlight, Pawn Sacrifice, The Butler, Salt, The Manchurian Candidate, Kate & Leopold, Hamlet and Scream, among many others. Also coming up for the actor is Wes Anderson’s latest star-studded feature Asteroid City, which is suspected to be among the titles that will touch down at Cannes this summer.
Fahy is a recent SAG Ensemble Award winner who generated major buzz with her turn opposite Theo James, Aubrey Plaza and Will Sharpe in the Sicily-set second season of Mike White’s smash hit HBO series, The White Lotus. The new installment has her portraying Daphne Sullivan, who shares a transformative weekend with investments manager husband Cameron (James), as the pair take the depths of their relationship with Cameron’s college friend Ethan (Sharpe) and his wife Harper (Plaza) to new levels, following a series of mind games and power plays involving both. The actress prior to that starred as Scarlet magazine fashion stylist Sutton Brady on Freeform’s The Bold Type, which ran for five seasons. Notable credits for her on the feature side include the Golden Globe-nominated John Madden drama Miss Sloane with Jessica Chastain and the upcoming Lionsgate drama The Unbreakable Boy with Zachary Levi.
A SAG Award nom who launched her screen career at age five and quickly rose to stardom with turns opposite the likes of Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise, Fanning prior to the The First Lady starred opposite Daniel Brühl and Luke Evans on TNT’s The Alienist, which ran for two seasons. She has most recently been seen on the feature side in titles like Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Ocean’s Eight, and Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, American Pastoral.
Hewson leads John Carney’s acclaimed musical drama Flora and Son, also starring Reynor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Orén Kinlan, which sold to Apple for around $20M out of Sundance 2023, in a competitive situation. The rising star has also thus far been seen in features including Tesla, Robin Hood, Papillon, Bridge of Spies, Enough Said and This Must Be the Place. She starred in the Emmy-winning Cinemax series The Knick and has also been seen on such series as BBC One/Starz’s The Luminaries, Netflix’s Behind Her Eyes and Apple TV+’s Bad Sisters.
Reynor stars in Prime Video’s The Peripheral, having also appeared in the streamer’s anthology series Modern Love and Electric Dreams, and CBS All Access’ Strange Angel. Notable feature credits for the actor include the Russo Bros’ Cherry, Ari Aster’s A24 horror Midsommar, Mimi Leder’s On the Basis of Sex, Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, the Carney-directed Sing Street and Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth.
Winning her first Emmy for AMC’s The Night Manager in 2016, Danish creative Bier has also helmed features like the post-apocalyptic Sandra Bullock starrer Bird Box, which for a time became Netflix’s most-watched ever. Other major feature titles from the multi-hyphenate include Sony Pictures Classics’ romantic drama In a Better World, which won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2011; the Paramount drama Things We Lost in the Fire with Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro; IFC Films’ After the Wedding led by Mads Mikkelsen; and the fraternal drama Brothers, which was later adapted for U.S. audiences by Lionsgate, with Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman starring.
The production company behind Netflix’s enduringly beloved Stranger Things, now heading into its final season, 21 Laps debuted the second season of its popular fantasy series Shadow and Bone on the platform on March 16, seeing it rise in its first week to occupy the No. 2 slot on its English-Language TV chart. The company is currently in post on its Levy-directed Netflix limited series All the Light We Cannot See, based on the Pulitzer-winning, global bestseller, with 20th Century Studios set to release release its adaptation of the Stephen King short story “The Boogeyman” on June 2nd. 21 Laps principal Levy is also currently gearing up for production as the director of Deadpool 3.
Berman’s production company The Jackal Group, founded in 2014, recently produced Baz Luhrmann’s critically acclaimed box office smash Elvis, which was nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, thrusting Austin Butler into the spotlight as one of the most buzzed-about actors of our time. The company has also produced series like Fox’s Monarch and films like MGM/UAR’s animated The Addams Family 2, with Berman among the EPs for Netflix’s smash hit Addams Family series Wednesday starring Jenna Ortega.
Bier is represented by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Kidman by CAA, Australia’s Shanahan Management, Media Talent Group and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Schreiber by UTA and Untitled Entertainment; Fahy by Paradigm, Anonymous Content and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern; Fanning by UTA, Echo Lake Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; Hewson by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners; and Reynor by WME, Range Media Partners and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.
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