Reese Witherspoon has made herself one of the busiest people in Hollywood. Her new production company, Hello Sunshine, has multiple films and television shows in the works. In a recent New York Times feature, Witherspoon revealed several new projects we didn't know about and now can't wait to see.
She's working on two TV shows with Kristen Wiig and Octavia Spencer, both for Apple's streaming lineup. Fox 2000 signed on to make a thriller called Something in the Water based on the book by Catherine Steadman. Another novel-based film has been picked up by Sony's TriStar Pictures. Titled A White Lie, the film tells the story of the first black woman to attend Vassar College in the 1890s. Zendaya is slated to star as the ground-breaking graduate, Anita Hemmings, in the movie based on the book The Gilded Years, by Karin Tanabe. Additionally, Zendaya will produce the project alongside Witherspoon. There seems to be a theme throughout her projects: she makes a point of getting actresses in front of and behind the camera.
One of the series for Apple explores morning shows and the New York media scene with none other than Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston as hosts of a fictional morning news show. The former sisters on Friends will also serve as executive producers of the project. The series has already made its mark as one of the most expensive deals in TV history. Apple committed to two seasons, 20 episodes in total, at roughly $12 to $15 million per episode. As a reference point, the final season of Game of Thrones, one of the most expensive shows ever made, had an episode budget of $15 million.
The actress-turned-mogul is bringing on a strong team of women to build Hello Sunshine. Charlotte Koh joined the team as head of digital media and programming. According to Variety, she will be responsible for developing and producing social, editorial, and unscripted content for the production company's digital distribution channels. Could this become another Shondaland or Lenny Letter? If so, we're all for it.
Hello Sunshine centers its projects around creating strong and complex female characters. The actress was tired of hearing that the industry had reached its quota for female-driven projects. Big Little Lies, which Witherspoon executive produced alongside Nicole Kidman, won eight Emmy awards and four Golden Globes, further proof that when women are given characters with depth and dimension, the world will watch.
Witherspoon is not stopping there. Big Little Lies has been renewed for a second season on HBO. According to the New York Times, as executive producer, Witherspoon played a huge part in getting Meryl Streep to sign on for the second season as Alexander Skarsgård's mother.
Women wholeheartedly supporting other women is something we need to achieve gender parity. Witherspoon seems to know, it is not just about women get a seat at the table, because that still leaves women being pitted against each other for limited spaces. It is about women creating more seats at the table so that other women can join.