British writer/actress Jessica Stevenson, who co-created, co-wrote and co-starred in hit TV series Spaced, has landed a deal with New Line Cinema to write and star in Double Au Pair, a family adventure comedy about a nanny spy.
Stevenson, who also starred in comedy Tomorrow La Scala! which played in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival in May, will play the black sheep of a spy family who uses her new job as a British ambassador's au pair as a gateway to an imaginary mission and takes the children on a real life espionage adventure. The film will start in the UK, but is mostly set in the US.
"We think we've tapped into an undiscovered gem who can become a worldwide star," said Chris Godsick, the New Line vice president of production who will oversee the project alongside director of development Michelle Weiss.
Stevenson won the best female newcomer and best comedy actress awards at the British Comedy Awards for Spaced; she is currently starring in a play in London's West End opposite Ray Winstone in The Night Heron.
Godsick spotted Stevenson on one of two trips to the UK to identify new talent. "When I was an agent at William Morris, I represented Rowan Atkinson and other UK talent," he said yesterday. "So when I moved to New Line about a year ago, I told them that we should be looking at the UK as an untapped marketplace. On my first trip, someone gave me a copy of Spaced and I liked it so much I requested the second season. On my next trip back, I met with the team and started talking to Jessica. She settled on the idea for Double Au Pair."
Stevenson is represented by Sue Grantley of JA Associates for her career as an actress and by Jenne Casarotto and Chris Cope of Casarotto, Ramsay and Associates as a writer.