Stiles, currently starring in awards contender Silver Linings Playbok, will play Frances Marion, the winner of the best adapted screenplay Academy Award in 1930 who collaborated with Pickford on Rebecca From Sunnybrook Farm and Poor Little Rich Girl, among others.
Jennifer DeLia and producer Julie Pacino of Poverty Row will attend Berlin to take meetings on The First, which they announced shortly before Cannes last summer.
As previously announced, Lily Rabe will play Pickford, Michael Pitt is cast as Owen Moore and Ryan Simpkins will portray the young Pickford.
DeLia will direct from a screenplay by Josh Fagin based on Eileen Whitfield’s biography Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood.
Pacino and Said Zahraoui will produce alongside co-producer Dominick Fairbanks – the grandson of Douglas Fairbanks Jr – and his UK-based Fairbanks Productions.
The producers expect to commence shooting later this year and are out to cast for the roles of Douglas Fairbanks, D W Griffith, Pickford’s brother Jack Pickford, her mother Charlotte Hennessy and Lillian Gish.
“As in our casting Lily Rabe as Pickford, Julia is someone I could instantly envision in that era and within the world of Old Hollywood,” said DeLia. “I’ve watched her work since I was a kid in the mid-90’s when she was emerging as a very cool and very talented actress, and in my eyes, she has never wavered from being someone totally dedicated to what she does.”