Kerry Washington is Bringing Brit Bennett’s ‘The Mothers’ to the Big Screen

The hit literary debut is about to take Hollywood by storm

Kerry Washington & Brit Bennett

Ever since Brit Bennett’s stunning debut, The Mothers (Riverhead) came out in October, the book has been a fixture in trains, coffee shops and on park benches. It may have seemed like just about everyone you knew, or wanted to know, was reading it. The novel earned bestseller status, critical praise and a bevy of prizes and ‘best-of-year’ nods. Recently, you may have found yourself eagerly flipping through its pages, or maybe just staring across an aisle into that mesmerizing cover — a stain glass swirl of silhouette and lush color — thinking, “I wonder how long before somebody makes that a movie?”

Wonder no more. Last night, Warner Bros. announced it had acquired movie rights to The Mothers, with Kerry Washington’s production company, Simpson Street, at the helm. Washington —the star of Scandal, and a burgeoning Hollywood powerhouse, having notched her first production with last year’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning HBO movie, Confirmation — will serve as producer. In case that doesn’t give you enough comfort that the project is in the right hands, Bennett herself has been named an executive producer. Go ahead, you now have permission to get excited.

While you’re at it, you may also want to begin preparing emotionally. The Mothers — book, movie, hell the radio play if they want to go that route — packs a wallop. Set in Southern California, the story takes on suicide, faith, abortion, regret, friendship, romance — just about every big sensation and experience you can think of. At the center of it is Nadia Turner, a grieving teen who gets involved with a pastor’s son, gets pregnant, and finds herself confronted with choices that will change the course of her life. The novel follows Nadia into adulthood, still grappling with the decisions she’s made.

You can read an excerpt on Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading:

Nadia by Brit Bennett

And when you’re done, why not check out the interview, too?

Brit Bennett on Family, Religion, and Upending Expectations of Black Narratives

The principals took to social media last night to express their excitement:

Okay, readers and movie buffs, commence assembling your dream cast.


About the Author

More Like This

Other Literary Concepts That Should Be Met Gala Themes

After this year's "camp" ensembles, we're ready for the event to go full English major

May 10 - Helena Fitzgerald

What Does It Mean That Woody Allen Couldn’t Sell His Memoir?

Maybe the publishing industry is ready to consider something more than profit

May 9 - Carrie V. Mullins

A Book Nerd’s Guide To The 2019 Met Gala

A reading list inspired by some of your favorite looks

May 7 - Dana Karlson