The Reese Witherspoon-produced drama is about Anita Hemmins, a woman who passed as white in order to attend an elite college.

News Kayti Burt

Jan 24, 2018

Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company is throwing its weight behind some pretty cool projects.

The one we’re discussing today? A White Lie, which will star Zendaya as the first African-American woman to graduate from Vassar College. Sony’s TriStar Pictures just won distribution rights for the film, beating out six other potential buyers in a competitive deal, according to Deadline

A White Lie is based on The Gilded Years, a novel by Karin Tanabe about Anita Hemmins, a woman who passed as white in order to attend women’s college Vassar. The novel is being adapted for the screen by Monica Beletsy, who has previously worked on TV shows like Fargo and The Leftovers.

Witherspoon is producing alongside her production partner Lauren Neustadter and Zendaya.

Speaking about the project, TriStar president Hannah Minghella said: “Monica, Zendaya, Lauren and Reese have developed a bold and original approach to Anita’s story that explores complex and timely themes in a way that is sure to thrill audiences.”

Other projects Hello Sunshine has in development include the Octavia Spencer-led Are You Sleeping, a morning show drama series starring Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and a comedy series starring Kristen Wiig.