After seeing off Pennywise the Dancing Clown in IT, one of the Losers club is going to portray an iconic literary character. Sophia Lillis has been tapped to star as teenage detective Nancy Drew in an upcoming Warners Bros. movie. Described as a "blockbuster," the feature-length film Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase is expected to reintroduce the young sleuth for modern audiences and will start filming soon.
Nancy Drew was the fictional creation of writer Edward Stratemeyer, who envisaged her as a female equivalent to his Hardy Boys. She first appeared in books during 1930 and was originally a 16-year-old high school graduate who successfully solved crimes, although she was later re-written to be slightly older. The character was always marked by her keen intellect and red-haired appearance. Each of the books were ghost-written by a variety of authors under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene. With various interpretations and adaptations, the character became something of a cultural icon, and is still held up today by many as an important character for feminist qualities.
Now Deadline has reported that Lillis will play the title character in this latest attempt to bring her to the screen. It is reportedly a cinematic adaptation of one of the earliest stories called The Hidden Staircase, from the second volume of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories first published in 1930. It was written by Mildred Wirt Benson and involves mysterious disappearances and thefts occurring in local mansions. Although little is known about the plot or time-period for this new film, it's likely to take some elements from several of the other stories. There is no news yet as to the director or rest of the cast, although Ellen DeGeneres is one of the producers and it's believed to be starting production shortly.
It's not the first attempt to bring the character to theaters or TV. Warner Bros. made a film from the same source in 1939, which starred Bonita Granville. For certain generations, Pamela Sue Martin (Dynasty) was most recognizable for playing her in ABC's The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries which aired in the late 1970s. Emma Roberts (Scream Queens) played another updated version of her in the 2007 film called simply Nancy Drew. Most recently however there were two attempts to bring her to TV as an older sleuth; once with Sarah Shahi playing her as an NYPD cop, and another with Nancy as a middle-aged author. Neither of these were picked up by their respective networks.
However, Lillis would seem to be an excellent choice for the character, being the right age and appearance to play her and with the talent to convince as a young detective. She picked up plenty of praise for her performance as Beverly Marsh in IT, and will be reprising that role in IT: Chapter 2, with Jessica Chastain starring as her older self. But before that she will also be seen as a younger version of Amy Adams in HBO's Sharp Objects. More news on Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase as we get it.