Susan Johnson To Direct JoJo Siwa In ‘Bounce’ From Will Smith & Paramount Players
EXCLUSIVE: We hear that Susan Johnson, the director of Netflix’s hit teen dramedy To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, has boarded Paramount Players’ Bounce based on the Megan Shull YA novel and starring YouTube personality JoJo Siwa. The feature is in early development.
Bounce tells the story of a teenage girl who wishes she could trade her family for a new one on Christmas Eve. Her wish is granted and she finds herself “bouncing” into the lives of other girls and living Christmas Day on repeat — learning the value of family, finding your voice and the power of love. Josann McGibbon, the writer and EP on Disney Channel’s Descendants franchise, and the scribe on such movies as Runaway Bride, Three Men and a Little Lady and the Co-EP of ABC’s Desperate Housewives, is adapting Shull’s novel.
Paramount won the rights to Bounce last summer after a competitive bidding war, with Overbrook Entertainment’s Will Smith and James Lassiter producing alongside Caleeb Pinkett.
Johnson’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before notched a 96% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Next up, Johnson is attached to direct Rabbit Cake for Amazon starring McKenna Grace, a heart-wrenching dramedy based on the New York Times best-selling book by Annie Hartnett. She is also set to direct untitled Fairytale for Disney+, written by Cat Vasko with Lakieth Stanfield with Olivia Cooke attached to star and Andrew Lazar producing.
Johnson began her career directing music videos before transitioning to be an independent producer, producing eight feature films, including Mean Creek, for which she won an Independent Spirit Award and the Humanitas Prize following the pic’s 2014 premiere at Sundance and Director’s Fortnight. The pic received a release via Paramount Pictures and Focus Features.
Johnson’s feature directorial debut, Carrie Pilby starring Bel Powley was based on the New York Times best-selling book that was adapted by Verve client Kara Holden. The pic, which also starred Nathan Lane and Gabriel Byrne, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016 and was released in 2017 by The Orchard and Netflix.
Johnson continues is repped by Management 360, Verve, and attorney Jennifer Gray.
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