DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winning actress Brie Larson and Best Picture-nominated A Star Is Born producer Lynette Howell Taylor have made a two-picture worldwide rights deal at Netflix for films produced by Howell Taylor’s 51 Entertainment. Netflix has acquired Unicorn Store, which marks Larson’s directing debut, and Lady Business, which will be the next film that Larson stars in and likely directs. Unicorn Store will premiere on Netflix April 5, a month after the March 9 release of Larson’s Marvel Studios film Captain Marvel.
After Larson and Howell Taylor wrapped production on Unicorn Store — a film that Larson once auditioned for and didn’t get, before she stepped up to direct — and then they joined forces with Endeavor Content to acquire the rights to develop Lady Business, after Endeavor Content’s Negeen Yazdi found the article.
The latter film is based on a Fast Company article by John Paul Titlow, and tells the true story of two young female entrepreneurs, Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer, who had to invent a third male company founder in order to be taken seriously in the business world. The deal also includes the duo’s life rights. Howell Taylor will produce the film alongside 51 Entertainment’s Samantha Housman and Larson. They will develop the project at Netflix as a starring vehicle for Larson, who is also eyeing to direct.
Unicorn Store is based on a script penned by Samantha McIntyre, and centers on a woman who moves back in with her parents, and receives an invitation to a store that will test her ideas of what it really means to grow up. The film premiered at Toronto and stars Larson, Joan Cusack, Bradley Whitford, Mamoudou Athie, Hamish Linklater, and Samuel L. Jackson.
“It’s not an easy time in the world right now so I hope that, in the old tradition of films being a form of escapism and a way to dream, this film can do that,” Larson said of Unicorn Store, which Howell Taylor produced under her 51 Entertainment banner along with David Bernad and Ruben Fleischer of The District and Rhea Films’ Terry Dougas and Paris Kasidokostas. The film was executive produced by Jean-Luc De Fanti, Nathan Kelly, Samantha McIntyre and Anne Woodward. It was co-executive produced by Kostas Tsoukalas.
Aside from the start of the Captain Marvel franchise next month, Larson recently wrapped Just Mercy alongside Michael B. Jordan for Warner Bros. Howell Taylor just produced the Best Picture-nominee A Star Is Born, which has grossed $400 million worldwide.
Larson is repped by WME and Authentic Talent and Literary Management and Robert Offer at Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern. 51 Entertainment is repped by WME and Barry Littman at Hansen Jacobson.
Endeavor Content negotiated both deals on behalf of the filmmakers.