Paul Feig has been lying low since the backlash and whimpered aftermath of Ghostbusters, working on the many projects he has in development such as the untitled Late Night Comedy project starring Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility) and Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project) (I need this film NOW; I’m already the first in line in my mind). However, it appears Feig has decided to step out of his comfort zone. He will be writing and directing the thriller A Simple Favor, adapted from Darcey Bell’s novel about a mommy blogger whose best friend disappears. Blake Lively (The Shallows) and Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air) have signed on to star. Below is the book’s synopsis, and it certainly is….something:
A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.
But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over. Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.
I’m getting major vibes of a large-scale Lifetime movie. Who wants to bet Emily faked her death to escape her obviously abusive husband? It’s a smart move on Blake’s part to snatch up a role in the film, as she’s been trying to court the mommy class for years. A Simple Favor will certainly attract a niche audience, giving the stay-at-home moms an opportunity to daydream themselves as hard-boiled noir detectives while dealing with their little gremlins at home. Everyone deserves some escapism after all.