Emma Roberts to Headline Comedy ‘Hot Mess’

Emma Roberts is set to headline the comedy “Hot Mess.”

The movie marks the feature directorial debut for film and TV helmer Katie Locke O’Brien (“Ghosts,” “A.P. Bio”). The project was written by Gabrielle D’Amico and is produced by Debbie Liebling (“South Park”), Maggie Malina (“Resort To Love”) and Laura Lewis (“Mr. Malcolm’s List”).

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Currently in pre-production and scheduled to start shooting in early 2024, Mister Smith Entertainment will launch international sales at this month’s Cannes market. Laura Lewis at Rebelle Media is representing North American rights.

An official synopsis for the film reads: “After imploding in the worst way possible on a wildly popular American dating show, Laurel Mack (Roberts) must do the ultimate walk of shame… back to her hometown. Having failed to win love on the show, Laurel finds herself living in her quirky parents’ basement, without any friends, constantly bumping into the miserable ex the whole town adores, and experiencing the constant mockery of all who witnessed her public meltdown. She embarks on a hilarious and heartfelt journey to discover self-love, and with that, real connections with others.”

Roberts is currently in production on Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story: Delicate,” and recently wrapped production on Marvel’s Spider-Man spin-off “Madame Web.” Roberts will next begin production on Frank Coraci’s “Verona Spies,” and will also executive produce the romantic comedy “Space Cadet.”

Locke O’Brien said: “‘Hot Mess’ is a sharp, witty script that stood out to me as a fresh story of a woman finding her place in a world ruled by social media and outsized expectations. I am so eager to bring this to life with Emma as the perfect Laurel. She brings the fun of the messy side, and all the heart with it.”

The producers added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with the indomitable force that is Emma Roberts on ‘Hot Mess.’ She will undoubtedly bring the ferocity, vulnerability and comedic hot-messiness to this character. The time has come for a comedy set in the world of reality dating shows and their hold on our collective consciousness. Katie’s comedic and heartfelt approach will make a very commercial comedy that speaks to anyone seeking self love.”

Mister Smith Entertainment’s David Garrett noted: “This is such a refreshing and funny take on the world of dating programmes and you couldn’t hope for anyone smarter and funnier that Emma Roberts to inhabit the role.”

Locke O’Brien is represented by Gersh and Echo Lake Entertainment. Gabrielle D’Amico is represented by Gersh. Emma Roberts is represented by CAA and Sweeney Entertainment.

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