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Rebecca Hall‘s next project is so exciting she has “no idea what words to write,” according to her post on Instagram yesterday (August 6).

But Deadline reports that Rebecca has, in fact, written the script for Passing, a movie based on a 1929 novel of the same name by Nella Larsen.

The Parade’s End star will also go behind the cameras for the first time to direct the new film, while in front of them will be Ruth Negga (Preacher) and Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok).

Set in Harlem in the 1920s, the book tells the story of two mixed-race childhood friends, one of whom (Negga) has chosen to “pass” as a white woman, while the other (Thompson) embraces her African-American heritage.

“Nella Larsen’s Passing is an astonishing book about two women struggling not just with what it meant to be black in America in 1929, but with gender conventions, the performance of femininity, the institution of marriage, the responsibilities of motherhood, and the ways in which all of those forces intersect,” Rebecca said in a statement.

The film will not only explore provocative and timely issues around race and gender, but also showcase the work of an all-female core creative team. Rebecca’s Professor Marston and the Wonder Women director Angela Robinson will join her, Ruth and Tessa as the project’s executive producer.

“When Rebecca told me about her family history and her passion to tell this story,” Angela explained, “I immediately signed on to help bring her vision of this incredible book to the screen.”

Rebecca went on to explain: “I came across the novel at a time when I was trying to reckon creatively with some of my personal family history, and the mystery surrounding my bi-racial grandfather on my American mother’s side. In part, making this film is an exploration of that history, to which I’ve never really had access.”

Passing is set to be her next project, after she’s done promoting Holmes and Watson, the upcoming comedy in which she stars alongside Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly‘s dynamic detective duo — not to mention Hugh Laurie as Mycroft and Ralph Fiennes as Moriarty.

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.