Reese Witherspoon has a big year coming up. In addition to the TV show she she’s going to star in alongside Jennifer Aniston, it was just announced that Witherspoon will have a role in producing what sounds like an intensely emotional biopic about a former member of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.
According to Variety, Witherspoon will help bring to life the story of Megan Phelps-Roper in This Above All. The film will tell the true story of Phelps-Roper’s exit from the Westboro Baptist Church, a church she had grown up in, and her exile from her family because of it.
Phelps-Roper is the granddaughter of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps, which only makes the story all the more intriguing. She was a vocal member of the church for most of her life and worked as a communications director to spread its hateful messages online. Through conversations with people on the posts she would put up on Twitter, though, Phelps-Roper reportedly came to question the beliefs that had been drilled into her throughout her life. Eventually, she and her sister left the church and now speak out publicly against it.
This Above All is based on Phelps-Ropers’ as yet unpublished memoir, adapted for the big screen by award-winning writer Nick Hornby. Hornby was nominated for an Academy Award for his adaptation of Wild, which is likely how he and Witherspoon met.
“Megan’s extraordinary story says so much about so many things in contemporary America, and I’m really excited about this project,” Hornby told Variety. “I’m looking forward to working with the brilliant Marc Webb, [Condé Nast Entertainment] and with my friends Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea and River Road, with whom I enjoyed such a good relationship during the making of Wild.”
Webb is set to direct the film, while Papandrea and Witherspoon will produce; an actor has yet to be cast as Phelps-Roper.