Netflix star Millie Bobby Brown will lead the YA adaption The Thing About Jellyfish, with Reese Witherspoon set to co-produce. The film is based on Ali Benjamin’s novel of the same name. On Stranger Things, Brown portrays Eleven, a young girl with psychic powers.
In 2015, The Thing About Jellyfish was nominated for a National Book Award. The novel centers on seventh-grader Suzy Swanson, a girl who believes that her best friend’s death was caused by a jellyfish. The narrative is based on adolescent conflict, coping mechanisms and imagination, as the protagonist constructs a world in which jellyfish experts can lead her to the truth. The Thing About Jellyfish marks the fiction debut of the aforementioned Benjamin, a Massachusetts native who graduated from Iowa’s Grinnell College.
Per THR, Brown will play the role of Suzy Swanson in The Thing About Jellyfish. At only 15-years-old, the English actress became a household name when Strangers Things premiered in 2016. With its ’80 aesthetic, nostalgic appeal and cast of up-and-coming performers, Netflix’s science fiction horror series instantaneously resonated with various demographics. While Brown is primarily known for portraying the character Eleven, she’ll portray Madison Russell in the upcoming franchise films Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong. For her Strangers Things performances in season 1 and season 2, Brown received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
For The Thing About Jellyfish, Brown will collaborate with director Wanuri Kahiu. In 2018, the Kenyan filmmaker released the drama Rafiki, which was banned by the Kenya Film Classification Board for its lesbian themes. The ban was eventually lifted for seven days, which made Rafiki eligible for Academy Award consideration. Rafiki first premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival last May. The Thing About Jellyfish will be adapted for the screen by Molly Smith Metzler, who has previously written for HBO's Orange Is the New Black, Hulu’s Casual, and Showtime’s Shameless. The Thing About Jellyfish will be produced by MWM Studios, the company behind films like Ender’s Game, Hell or High Water, and Edward Norton’s upcoming film Motherless Brooklyn.
With an international fan base already in place, Brown will soon became an even bigger star when Godzilla: King of the Monsters releases in May. With The Thing About Jellyfish, a YA adaptation that has the potential to be a hit among demographics young and old, she may become even more of a cultural icon.