Dakota Johnson and black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross are set to star in Covers, the next film from Late Night director Nisha Ganatra that recently moved from Universal to its sister label Focus Features, Collider has learned.
Newcomer Flora Greeson wrote the script, which is a comedy set in the fast-paced world of Hollywood’s music scene. Sources say that Johnson will play an aspiring music producer who endures an exhausting job as the assistant to a legendary singer (Ross) while trying to launch her own career.
Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce Covers for Working Title, whose Alexandra Loewy will serve as executive producer. Kiska Higgs, who serves as EVP of acquisitions and co-productions for Focus, will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.
“Together, Dakota and Tracee are an undeniable force of comedic talent, and along with our friends at Working Title and our director Nisha, we can’t wait to see them go head to head on this new project,” said Focus chairman Peter Kujawski. Focus’ parent company, Universal, recently pledged to join Times Up’s 4% Challenge, a commitment to working with more female directors.
Ganatra most recently directed the Emma Thompson–Mindy Kaling comedy Late Night, which premiered to rave reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it was subsequently bought by Amazon Studios for $13 million. Ganatra’s other directing credits include episodes of hit TV shows like The Last Man on Earth, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Love, Girls and Better Things. Ganatra also served as a consulting producer on Transparent, which earned her an Emmy nomination in 2015.
Johnson is a Universal favorite, having starred in the studio’s billion-dollar Fifty Shades franchise, which famously moved from Focus to Universal — so, the inverse of Covers. She recently starred in Bad Times at the El Royale, and her credits also include a pair of Luca Guadagnino films — Suspiria and A Bigger Splash. Johnson next stars opposite Shia LaBeouf in The Peanut Butter Falcon, and she has also wrapped the indie movie The Friend, which pairs her with Jason Segel and Casey Affleck. Sources also suggest that her new movie Wounds, which co-stars Armie Hammer, appears to have been retitled Invisible Filth.
Ross is best known for her turn as Dr. Rainbow Johnson on the series black-ish, for which she won a Golden Globe. She also starred on the long-running hit series Girlfriends. Ross is represented by UTA and Artists First, while Johnson is repped by WME, Lighthouse Management and Media and Ziffren Brittenham.