Once upon a time the only films created and marketed towards women were chick flicks. Don’t get me wrong, I love a rom-com marathon for all of the right and wrong reasons, but not all of them do heaps when it comes to progressing the actual stories of women in the world. Lately there has been a fantastic and true shift within Hollywood and we are seeing more movies made for and by women. In truth these ARE “chick flicks,” but they are so far beyond guy meets girl.
Just last year we saw the release of: Heat, Before Midnight, and The To-Do List. Those films are incredibly varied in theme and tone but they have two huge things in common: They were written by women and marketed for women.
It was recently announced that the film rights to Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, the best-selling book by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, have been purchased by Sony Pictures. Don’t worry, this film isn’t going to be the other side of the gender coin for The Social Network film. Deadline is reporting it will be a “narrative film from the themes contained within the book.”
There are two words why I am excited about this book evolving into a film: Nell Scovell.
Nell not only helped Sheryl Sandberg write Lean In, she is also a seriously brilliant TV and film writer. I’m thrilled she is the one who will be turning the book into a film.
So let’s talk about why Nell Scovell is so great. Nell’s quirky writing career took her from writing several episodes of Murphy Brown and Charmed to creating the Sabrina, the Teenage Witch series. She was a female writer in an industry that didn’t exactly embrace the female voice. She has been involved with Lean In since the beginning and as the success of the book has grown and then the movement took off, Nell has forced herself into the spotlight to talk about women in the TV and film industry.
She revealed in a recent New York Magazine article that she imagined her career path in Hollywood would always involve helping other women. She thought, “I’ll go into this male-oriented business and I’ll do my job and I’ll do it well,” and then “more women will come into the industry.” When she wrote in Vanity Fair about her experience on the writing staff for the David Letterman Show she was hoping to propel change with her observations:
“At this moment, there are more females serving on the United States Supreme Court than there are writing for ‘Late Show with David Letterman,’ ‘The Jay Leno Show,’ and ‘The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien’ combined. Out of the 50 or so comedy writers working on these programs, exactly zero are women. It would be funny if it weren’t true.”
The backlash that Nell endured for daring bring up the lack of women writers was brutal. Part of her Lean In experience has been to share more of her Letterman story.
I can’t wait to see what Nell turns Lean In into and I can’t wait to see who else will be attached to creating the film. With so many talented women film makers and producers in Hollywood this could be a powerful moment in film.
Image Credit: Twitter via @NellSco
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