November 2, 2023, 1:27pm
It hasn’t quite been two years since Joan Didion died, and she’s already getting the biopic treatment. A new, currently untitled film by Matthew Wilder, which “chronicles the life and work” of the woman on your tote bag, is set to shoot in L.A. next year. But what kind of biopic will it be? According to Deadline:
The plan is to paint a dreamlike day in the life of Didion and California in the late 1960s, when the brilliant young journalist is hurtled from encounters with jailed Manson girls to protesting Black Panthers, and from Nancy Reagan pausing in a photo op to Vietnam War POWs—climaxing with an epilogue in a near-future California where an AI Joan encounters a dystopia beyond her wildest anxiety dreams.
“I read every published word Joan wrote, then put it all in a blender,” writer-director Wilder told Deadline. “We took all the history and the culture of the period, and what was going on in Joan’s head, and created something fast-moving, lyrical and strange. It moves fast, and it feels like the movie Didion might’ve made with Antonioni in L.A. at the end of the ’60s.”
“Of course, it’s really about today,” producer David Michaels, added. “All of what Joan saw happening in 1968 birthed the world we live in now. So, every scene is a double: a beautiful distant past but absolutely today.”
Sure—but who’s going to play Joan?