DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Anya Taylor-Joy, who broke onto the scene with her lauded performance in A24’s The Witch, has been tapped as the title character in Weetzie Bat, the film adaptation of Francesca Lia Block’s cult favorite 1980s novel that Justin Kelly is directing. Love, Simon star Nick Robinson, American Honey standout Sasha Lane, Theodore Pellerin (Boy Erased) and Keiynan Lonsdale (Love, Simon, The Flash) also will star in the pic, which is described as a neon-lit fairy tale.
Weetzie (Taylor-Joy) is an ethereal pixie living in 1980s Los Angeles, where she grew up the child of an alcoholic starlet mother and a junkie screenwriter father. She teams up with her Mohawked best friend Dirk (Pellerin) to find love, leading her to mysterious trenchcoat-wearing filmmaker Max (Robinson) and platinum-haired surfer Duck (Lonsdale). But when their bliss is threatened by deaths, breakups and Max’s witchy and bitter ex-girlfriend Vixanne (Lane), Weetzie must take off her pink harlequin sunglasses in order to confront life’s darkness and find happiness in a city known as much for the glamour of fame and fortune as the darkness of cults and crime.
Thor Bradwell, Justin Kelly, and Joshua Thurston are the producers on Weetzie Bat.
Block, who also penned the screenplay for the film, has authored more than 25 books spanning fiction, nonfiction, short stories and poetry. Repped by Intellectual Property Group, she has written scripts for Fox Searchlight and MTV and is currently developing other screenplays based on her work.
Taylor-Joy, recently seen in M. Night Shyalaman’s Split and Cory Finley’s Thoroughbreds, next stars in Fox’s X-Men: The New Mutants and the next film in Shyalaman’s Unbreakable series, Glass. She’s repped by CAA and Troika.