Marielle Heller is reteaming with Big Beach to create and produce a limited narrative series about a serial sexual harasser and how five women employees deal with his ongoing abuse. According to Deadline, the series is titled “Five Women” and is based on a National Public Radio podcast episode of “This American Life.” Heller will direct as showrunner.
“Five Women” will take from its broadcast episode and follow the lives of these women, how their lives were prior to the abuse and how their lives inform the ways they cope with what’s happening to them. It has the makings of a true to life depiction of how victims become survivors and how there isn’t a singular, specific way of feeling impacted by assault.
Executive producers with Heller are Robin Schwartz, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Alissa Shipp, Ira Glass and Joffe-Walt. Also producing are Kyle Laursen of Big Beach and Havilah Brewster of Defiant by Nature.
Heller recently directed “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” which landed Tom Hanks an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Big Beach was the head financier for the film, joining the filmmaker again for a promising project.
Heller also directed 2018’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” which brought Melissa McCarthy a Best Actress Oscar nomination, as well as Richard E. Grant a nod for Best Supporting Actor. She also directed the Berlin International Film Festival award-winning, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl.” Heller will also be showrunner on “Defiant By Nature,” under a first-look deal with Big Beach. The company also produced Lulu Wang’s Independent Spirit Award Picture winner “The Farewell,” another story derived from Wang’s special on “This American Life.”