EXCLUSIVE: Patricia Arquette is set to make her feature directorial debut with Rh Negative Entertainment and Catch & Release Films’ adaptation of Gonzo Girl, starring Camila Morrone, Willem Dafoe and Arquette. The film is based on the acclaimed same-name novel by Cheryl Della Pietra and will be adapted by Rebecca Thomas and Jessica Caldwell.
Tom Heller is producing through Rh Negative Entertainment as is Frank Hall Green through Catch & Release Films, Cameron O’Reilly through Bayard Productions and Arquette. Heller and Green have been the driving force on pushing this through with production is set to begin this week in Utah.
The novel is set in 1992, and follows an aspiring writer Alley Russo (Morrone) has an exciting new job, as the assistant to legendary “gonzo journalist” Walker Reade (Dafoe), living in his compound / party house in Aspen. Under orders to help the famously chaotic Walker settle down to work on his long-promised latest blur of fact and fiction, Alley soon learns the truth: a lifetime of chronic substance abuse has chipped away at Walker’s writing ability, until all he can produce from his drug-drenched brain are pages of word salad. Obliged to help a manic, sodden blowhard get through one relatively uncreative day after another, Alley begins to transform Walker’s rants and raves into publishable prose by running it through the filter of his own mind and his own typewriter, an act of moral support / plagiarism / treachery that keeps Walker’s career alive—for a few more months.
Arquette will play the role of ‘Claudia,’ the minder and manager for many years, of “gonzo journalist” Walker Reade.
While this will marks her directorial debut on the acting side, Arquette recently racked up another accolade, receiving a supporting actress nomination for her critically acclaimed work in Apple’s Severance. She will next be seen in the AppleTV+ series High Desert, which she also produces. She is repped by Gersh, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney Rick Genow of Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.
Dafoe remains very busy with some of his upcoming projects including Walter Hill’s Dead for a Dollar, Inside and Poor Things, also starring Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo. He is repped by WME and Circle of Confusion.
Morrone can be seen in the upcoming Amazon series Daisy Jones & The Six. The series is based on the same-name New York Times bestselling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid and her role was one of the more highly-coveted TV parts at the time of its casting. Her previous credits include A24’s Never Goin’ Backand indie drama Mickey and the Bear, which premiered at SXSW. She recently wrapped production on Marmalade. She is repped by WME and attorney Steve Warren of Hansen Jacobson.
Heller’s film resume reads like a who’s who of independent film, having executive produced foxcatcher, mud, Win Win, 127 Hours and much honored Precious. He is the president of Rh Negative Entertainment, the production company founded by Regina Hall. Hall Green wrote and directed festival darling Wildlike and he is in post-production on the feature drama If You See Something.