Helen Hunt: Magnet For Talent Such As Midler, Firth, Broderick, And More! (Thank You! ???)

(A column titled “In Production”)

“Then She Found Me”

Helen Hunt’s decade-long struggle to get Elinor Lipman’s novel to the screen is nearly complete. Marking her directorial debut, Hunt also wrote the screenplay and stars along with Bette Midler, Colin Firth and Matthew Broderick.

Currently in post, the story of a schoolteacher (Hunt) who is found by her obnoxious talk show host birth mother (Midler) has fascinated Hunt since she optioned the book soon after winning the Best Actress Oscar for “As Good As It Gets” in 1997.

After bouncing from studio to studio with the project, Hunt brought it to Killer Films two years ago and the team of Pamela Koffler, Katie Roumel and Christine Vachon found financing and got the project rolling this past September in Brooklyn. “We were interested in making [Hunt’s] first film but it’s just a really interesting [project],” says Koffler. “It looks at the way one woman pursues happiness and fulfillment and what that means to her.”

Koffler also adds that with Hunt’s involvement people like Salman Rushdie and Lynn Cohen (“Sex and the City”) jumped to the chance to have cameos.

“Helen was a magnet to interesting talent,” she says. “She was fantastic with them in the auditioning process and obviously as an actress is really sensitive to that dynamic so it was a fun casting process.”

Shot in 28 days on 35mm by Peter Donahue (“Junebug”), the film is being edited by Pam Wise (“Transamerica”). Along with Killer Films, Connie Tavel is also producing. John Wells, Walter Josten and Blue Rider Pictures’ Jeff Geoffray are executive producing.

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