DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Ethan Coen looks to have found the leads for his untitled pic at Working Title and Focus Features. Sources tell Deadline that Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan are set to star in the film, which will marks Coen’s first time directing a film on his own after having spent his movie career co-directing and writing with his brother Joel.
As of now, plot and character details are being kept under wraps for the new pic, which Ethan Coen co-wrote with his wife Tricia Cooke. They are also producing with Robert Graf and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
Coen had been meeting with talent for months, with the roles quickly becoming some of the more coveted parts in the biz for up-and-coming actresses. In recent weeks, a shortlist was made and chemistry readings were held; in the end, insiders say Qualley and Viswanathan’s screen tests could not be beat.
The film will shoot this fall.
Qualley has had herself quite the year going back to her acclaimed role in Netflix’s limited series Maid. The part has earned her several nominations including a recent Emmy nom for leading actress in a limited series. On the film side, her pic Stars at Noon premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. She also has Sanctuary opening at the Toronto Film Festival next month.
Following her breakout roles in Blockers and Bad Education, Viswanathan has continued to stay busy most recently starring in The Broken Hearts Gallery for Sony Pictures. Up next for her is the Apple pic The Beanie Bubble.
Qualley is repped by UTA, Linden Entertainment and SOWD LLP. Viswanathan is repped by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment, Mollison Keightley Management and attorney Jim Gilio.