By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Marc Webb, Nick Hornby, Bill Pohlad, Condé Nast, Bruna Papandrea And Reese Witherspoon Team Of Bio Of Westboro Baptist Escapee

 MARC WEBB TO DIRECT AND NICK HORNBY TO WRITE THE SCREENPLAY FOR “THIS ABOVE ALL”—THE TRUE STORY OF MEGAN PHELPS-ROPER, A WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH CONVERT

River Road and Condé Nast Entertainment Producing along with Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea and Marc Webb

The Script to be Adapted from a New Yorker Article by Adrian Chen and Phelps-Roper’s Soon-to-be-Published Memoir

Marc Webb will direct and Nick Hornby will write the upcoming feature film “This Above All,” based on the true-life story of Megan Phelps-Roper, a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church. The film is being adapted from both an article written by Adrian Chen for Condé Nast’s The New Yorker and from Phelps-Roper’s soon-to-be-published memoir.

As the granddaughter of the famous founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, Phelps-Roper grew up espousing the teachings of her family, preaching God’s power and damning those who sinned. She became one of the most powerful voices on social media for Westboro, where she used both a picket sign and her Twitter handle to doggedly protest everything from cultural events to funerals, until her ongoing conversations with opponents over Twitter led her to question her belief system. With her mind open to a different way of seeing the world, she and her younger sister made the difficult decision to leave the Church—and be disowned by their family—in order to find a life governed by love.

Dawn Ostroff and Jeremy Steckler of Condé Nast Entertainment (CNÉ), Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea for Made Up Stories, Marc Webb, and River Road Entertainment’s Bill Pohlad will produce. River Road will finance.

“Megan’s extraordinary story says so much about so many things in contemporary America, and I’m really excited about this project,” said Hornby. “I’m looking forward to working with the brilliant Marc Webb, CNÉ and with my friends Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea and River Road, with whom I enjoyed such a good relationship during the making of ‘Wild.’”

“When we read The New Yorker article about Megan’s incredible journey, we knew that it was the perfect fit for CNÉ’s film group, which focuses on compelling and timely stories from Condé Nast’s vast library of publications,” said Ostroff, president of CNÉ, and Steckler, CNÉ’s executive vice president of feature films. “Marc and Nick both have a powerful vision of how to tell Megan’s story and we are very happy to be partnered with Reese, Bruna and Bill, who understand the importance of bringing this project to the big screen.”

The deal was negotiated by Christa Zofcin Workman for River Road with CAA representing CNÉ, Megan Phelps-Roper, Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea and Mark Webb. Hornby is repped by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Ltd. Phelps-Roper is also represented by Melissa Flashman at Janklow & Nesbit Associates. The book by Phelps-Roper will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

About River Road Entertainment

River Road Entertainment is one of the leading independent production companies known for developing, producing and financing distinguished feature films and documentaries that astonish, inspire, reveal and provoke.

In the last ten years, River Road has produced and financed some of the most significant independent films, including the 2014 Academy Award-winning Best Picture 12 YEARS A SLAVE, directed by Steve McQueen; the 2011 Palme d’Or winner of the Cannes International Film Festival THE TREE OF LIFE, directed by Terrence Malick and starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain; Jean-Marc Vallée’s WILD starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern; and Ang Lee’s BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, all multiple Academy Award nominees. Other River Road films include Bill Pohlad’s LOVE & MERCY; Sean Penn’s INTO THE WILD; Doug Liman’s FAIR GAME; Robert Kenner’s documentary FOOD, INC.; Ang Lee’s LUST, CAUTION; Robert Altman’s A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION; and Juan Antonio Bayona’s A MONSTER CALLS.

 

About Condé Nast Entertainment (CNÉ)

Condé Nast Entertainment (CNÉ) is an award-winning next generation studio and distribution network with entertainment content across film, television, premium digital video, social, and virtual reality. In just six years since inception, CNÉ achieved profitability for its digital business ahead of schedule, reached TV-like scale for many of its digital videos, and has won Emmy and Critics’ Choice Awards, as well as garnered Academy Award and Peabody nominations. Culling from IP across Condé Nast’s iconic publishing brands, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ and Wired, CNÉ has produced series for Netflix, Investigation Discovery, Amazon, and more; and currently has feature films with Sony and Fox Searchlight. In addition, the Next Gen Studio produces and distributes over 5,000 pieces of original digital video content a year delivering more than 4.5 billion video views. CNÉ has an extensive digital distribution network of nearly 50 partners across 4,000 websites and ranks #23 in unique viewers in comScore’s Top 100 Properties, ahead of Hulu, Twitter, Vice, BuzzFeed, Defy and Awesomeness.http://www.condenast.com/cne

 

 

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