Michelle Williams is being lined up for Jonah Hill’s directorial debut

The Manchester by the Sea star is in talks for coming-of-ager Mid ’90s.


Dan Einav

Jonah Hill is lining up Michelle Williams to star in his directorial debut, Mid ’90s. Having earned plaudits for her role in Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, the actor in reportedly talks to play a mother again in Hill’s coming-of-age tale.

Hill has previous writing experience with the Jump Street series and food-porn Pixar parody Sausage Party, but he’s never stepped behind the camera before. Directing his own script, the story is set in 1990s Los Angeles and will focus on Stevie, a skateboarding teenager and his first encounters with alcohol, drugs and sex. Don’t expect Jump Street style antics though – according to Deadline Mid ’90s won’t be as light-hearted as Hill’s previous screenplay work:

“Stevie struggles with the various roles he must play in life: surrogate partner to his co-dependent single mother (Williams), receiver of abuse from his troubled older brother, and invisible stand-in to his wealthier school friends. As Stevie inches his way into acceptance of the crew of skateboarders, he deals with issues of class, race and socioeconomic privilege and under-privilege he’s never experienced before. Stevie’s mother must deal with her son growing further and further apart from her, which spins her out of control.”

Hill impressed us with his transition from comedy to drama in standout supporting turns in Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street, and we’ll have to wait and see whether he’ll be able to emulate that tonal shift as successfully in his writing and directing. Casting an actor of Williams’ pedigree certainly feels like a step in the right direction.

Production is scheduled to begin later this year, with Williams also set to start work on Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck and Sean Durkin’s hotly anticipated follow-up Martha Marcy May Marlene, a Janis Joplin biopic simply titled, Janis.

Published 27 Jan 2017

Tags: Jonah Hill Michelle Williams

Suggested For You

Certain Women – first look review

By Ed Frankl

Kelly Reichardt confirms herself as one of America’s greatest living filmmakers with this stunning three-part character study.

War Dogs

By David Jenkins

Miles Teller and Jonah Hill are two jacked-up arms dealers in Todd Phillips underwhelming true-to-life caper.


Manchester by the Sea

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Casey Affleck delivers a career-best performance in Kenneth Lonergan’s stunning meditation on loss.

review LWLies Recommends

Little White Lies Logo

About Little White Lies

Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.