The silent era produced one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful writers in Frances Marion. From 1917 up into the 1930s, she penned over 100 scripts, becoming the highest paid screenwriter at the time. Her friendship with Mary Pickford happened to have led to a number of those opportunities, as she wrote for the legendary star in a handful of films. With that in mind, the upcoming Pickford biopic The First wouldn’t be complete without the early scribe, and it now seems as if the project has found its Marion.
Fresh off Silver Linings Playbook, Julia Stiles will, according to Deadline, play Marion to Lily Rabe’s Pickford in the newly-titled film from Poverty Row. Based on the biography Eileen Whitfield‘s Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood, The First covers important events in the actress’s life, including her role in co-founding United Artists. Jennifer DeLia – who is producing the film alongside Julie Pacino – will also direct off a script from first-time screenwriter Josh Fagin.
Stiles and Rabe are joined by Michael Pitt, who will portray actor Owen Moore, as well as Ryan Simpkins, who plays a young Pickford. Production begins soon.
Are you familiar with Marion? Do you think Stiles is a good choice to play her?