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Shailene Woodley to Star in the Biopic ‘The Murderous Miss Highsmith’

@Patricia Highsmith

A biopic is in the works about Patricia Highsmith, the troubled author of The Talented Mr. Ripley and a host of other psychological thrillers. To be titled The Murderous Miss Highsmith, the film is being produced by Killer Films, which also produced Carol, based on another of Highsmith’s stories.

Shailene Woodley will play the role of Highsmith in the upcoming film, supported by Cara Delevingne and Noémie Merlant as two of her companions.

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Alexandra Pechman will be directing, with shooting scheduled to begin this fall in Italy. Christine Vachon and Gabriel Mayers are producers.
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The biopic, which reimagines Highsmith’s life as a horror movie, will focus on her alcoholism and lesbian affairs, both of which inspired her prolific literary output—she was the author of 22 novels and numerous short stories. Born as Mary Patricia Plangman, Highsmith first came to prominence in 1950 when Alfred Hitchcock adapted her first novel for his film Strangers on a Train.

Anointed as “the poet of apprehension” by novelist Graham Greene, Highsmith died in 1995 at the age of 74. Another film about the author is also in the works: Switzerland, directed by Anton Corbijn and starring Helen Mirren, which will portray Highsmith’s later years in the Swiss Alps.

Shailene Woodley has been quite busy recently with a number of other cinematic projects, including Robots, Dumb Money, Ferrari, and Killer Heat (now in production). Cara Delevingne recently starred in a segment of the Italian anthology film Tell It Like a Woman, and Noémie Merlant starred in Portrait Of A Lady On Fire. Alexandra Pechman’s most recent directorial project was the short film Thumb.

According to a statement by Memento, the Paris-based production company, The Murderous Miss Highsmith promises to be “such a unique way to explore someone’s legacy, while implementing their world into their life story. The script goes from idyllic Italian settings to gruesome murder fantasies with a strong inspiration from her work.
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This is a new take to the biopic genre that will definitely leave a mark on the audience.”

Check out more of Edward’s articles. 

Edward Moran
Edward Moran
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.


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