The Hollywood Reporter confirmed today that Blake Lively will star in the film adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s book, The Husband’s Secret. The Husband’s Secret was published before Big Little Lies and it’s been in development since 2013. Now that Big Little Lies was such a success for HBO, there’s much more interest in Liane Moriarty’s other properties. Blake has also signed on to executive produce and right now they’re looking for a director.
Have you read The Husband’s Secret? Presumably Blake will be playing Cecilia whose husband has the secret. And not to be confused with Celeste in Big Little Lies whose husband also had a secret. But, even if you haven’t read the book, you can see where the similarities are. What’s interesting here though, where the movie is concerned, is that, just as in Big Little Lies (and also Paula Hawkins’s The Girl On The Train), the story revolves around three women. BLL gave us Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. The Husband’s Secret has Cecilia, Tess, and Rachel. And just as in BLL, every woman has a story that is no more or no less than the others. The reason why Big Little Lies, the series, worked is because the production team (led by Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman) understood that it had to be a true ensemble – which is why, ultimately, it ended up being a 7 part television series instead of a 2 hour feature film. You have more time to build the characters, to let them breathe – and bleed. And it allowed for the show to explore so many themes built on women’s experiences: trauma, single parenthood, parental competition, emotional labour, and ambition. I don’t know if that would have been possible had Big Little Lies been a feature film, which it was initially intended to be. And given that, right now, The Husband’s Secret is a feature film, I wonder if it’ll work less as an ensemble than a vehicle for Blake Lively. Having read the book, my instinct is to want to see it more as an ensemble, more of a showcase examining how these women’s lives intersect, and how the expectations about their lives (not unlike Big Little Lies) become a source of conflict. So I’m curious about what adjustments they make, whether or not they’ll be able to give space to so many of the ideas about family and relationships that Liane Moriarty observes in the book, or whether or not it’ll become a straight murder mystery thriller, the way The Girl On The Train movie ended up being.
Attached – Blake and Ryan Reynolds out in New York yesterday.