Production begins this week in New York and New Jersey on Focus Features’ Admission, directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Weitz. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.
The comedy/drama stars Screen Actors Guild Award winner Tina Fey (30 Rock), Paul Rudd (soon to be seen in This is 40), BAFTA Award nominee Michael Sheen (The Queen), Golden Globe Award nominee Gloria Reuben (ER), Wallace Shawn (of the upcoming A Late Quartet), and Academy Award nominee Lily Tomlin (Nashville). The screenplay is adapted by Karen Croner (One True Thing) and Mr. Weitz from Jean Hanff Korelitz’s 2009 novel of the same name.
Mr. Weitz, an Academy Award nominee as one of the screenwriters of About a Boy, most recently adapted and directed Being Flynn for Focus. He is producing Admission with Andrew Miano, his partner in the production company Depth of Field, and Kerry Kohansky-Roberts (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist). Academy Award nominee Caroline Baron (Capote) is executive-producing the movie. Admission director of photography Declan Quinn, production designer Sarah Knowles, editor Joan Sobel, and costume designer Aude Bronson-Howard are all reteaming with Mr. Weitz following their work together on Being Flynn. Focus holds worldwide rights to Admission, and will commence sales at this month’s Cannes International Film Festival. Focus director of development & production Christopher Kopp is supervising Admission for president of production Jeb Brody.
In the movie, Ms. Fey is portraying Portia Nathan, an admissions officer at Princeton University. Evaluating thousands of hopeful college students, the exceedingly bright and driven woman lives her life by the book, both at work and in her relationship with a faculty colleague, Mark (Mr. Sheen). Visiting an experimental New Hampshire high school submitting applicants, Portia is caught off guard when its co-founder John Halsey (Mr. Rudd) turns out to have attended college with her. She is then floored when reminded of the life-altering decision that she made while still a student herself; she had a son, who she gave up for adoption, and who she now realizes may be one of John’s students, the precocious misfit Jeremiah. As Portia’s emotions surge forth, she finds her life turning upside down in embarrassing ways and begins to bend the admissions rules – in the hopes of getting Jeremiah on the best path while perhaps righting her own as well.