“Winner,” a biopic about the leaker of the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election intelligence report, is in the works at Big Beach, with “Booksmart” co-writer Susanna Fogel on board to direct.
The film follows the real life story of Reality Leigh Winner, a former American intelligence specialist who was the first to expose Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. She was arrested in 2017 and is currently serving a five-and-a-half year prison sentence. The script is written by Kerry Howley, who also wrote the 2017 New York Magazine article, “Who is Reality Winner?”
Dani Melia and Peter Saraf of Big Beach will produce alongside Amanda Phillips, who brought the project in.
“We are honored to be bringing Reality Winner’s story to screen from a beautiful screenplay by Kerry Howley,” said Melia. “We have been longtime fans of Susanna Fogel and can think of no one better to capture this complex character through an empathetic and human lens. This is an urgent story that far too few Americans are aware of, and we have assembled the perfect creative team to tell it.”
Fogel’s directing credits include “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” the 2014 Magnolia Pictures’ release “Life Partners” and pilots for the upcoming limited series “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max) and “The Wilds” (Amazon).
Popular on Variety
“Reality Winner is a mouthpiece for a generation of young people who are struggling to square their personal ethics with the crumbling ethics of our country’s institutions, which we want to be proud of and have allegiance to,” Fogel said. “Kerry’s incredible script lays the groundwork for us to approach her timely story with humor and emotion, rather than preaching or partisanship.”
Big Beach produced “The Farewell,” “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “Loving.”
Fogel is repped by UTA and Lighthouse Management & Media.Howley is represented by CAA and Anonymous Content.