EXCLUSIVE: 93-year-old Oscar nominee June Squibb (Nebraska) has found her first, long overdue leading role in Thelma, an upcoming “action” comedy written and directed by Josh Margolin, which has wrapped production. The actress is joined in the ensemble by Fred Hechinger (The White Lotus), Richard Roundtree (Shaft), Parker Posey (The Staircase), Clark Gregg (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange).
Margolin’s first feature, based on a real-life experience involving his grandmother, is (half-jokingly) billed as Nebraska meets Mission: Impossible. It centers on 90-year-old grandmother Thelma Post (Squibb), who gets duped by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson and sets out on a uniquely treacherous quest to reclaim what was taken from her.
A portion of Thelma‘s budget went directly to the Motion Picture & Television Fund — the more than a century old charitable organization currently facing bankruptcy — following the shooting of key scenes at its Los Angeles-area residential living campus.
Invention Studios’ Nicholas Weinstock and Benjamin Simpson are producing alongside Zoë Worth and Chris Kaye, as well as Viviana Vezzani and Karl Spoerri of Zurich Avenue, which is fully financing the film. Zurich Avenue’s Tobias Gutzwiller is exec producing along with Squibb and Hechinger, with Kat Barnette (The Listener) co-producing. CAA Media Finance arranged the film’s financing and is repping its distribution rights.
Squibb landed her first Oscar nomination in 2014 for her supporting turn in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska. She’s more recently appeared in films including A24’s The Humans, Apple TV+’s Palmer and Neon/Hulu’s Palm Springs, as well as series like Life & Beth.
Hechinger is best known for his work on series like Pam & Tommy and The White Lotus, having also appeared in Netflix’s Fear Street film trilogy and additional big-screen titles including The Woman in the Window and News of the World. He’ll next be seen starring opposite Nicolas Cage in the Western Butcher’s Crossing
Roundtree famously played the title character in Gordon Parks’ Shaft and has most recently appeared on series like Cherish the Day and Family Reunion. Other notable film credits include Speed Racer and Brick.
Posey is a Golden Globe nominee who has recently been seen on series including Tales of the Walking Dead, The Staircase, Lost in Space and High Fidelity. Notable recent film credits include Kogonada’s Columbus and Christopher Guest’s Mascots. Among the actress’s other upcoming projects is Hereditary and Midsommar helmer Ari Aster’s anticipated film Disappointment Blvd. for A24.
Gregg is best known for his long-running Marvel role as Agent Phil Coulson, most recently played on series like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and in films like Captain Marvel. Other recent credits include Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos and TNT’s Snowpiercer. The actor will next be seen on the Netflix series Florida Man created by Donald Todd.
Perhaps best known for starring in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 classic A Clockwork Orange, McDowell recently starred alongside Mark Wahlberg in the Sony drama Father Stu. Other recent credits for the screen icon include Gossip Girl, Bombshell and Mozart in the Jungle.
Margolin previously co-wrote, edited and acted in the horror-comedy Deep Murder, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Previously, he created and starred in the digital series My Boyfriend is a Robot
Margolin is repped by Authentic Talent and Literary Management, Verve and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Invention Studios by CAA and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Worth by UTA, Mosaic, and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols; Squibb by BRS/Gage; Hechinger by A3 Artists Agency, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Roundtree by Artists & Representatives and Patrick McMinn Management; Gregg by Gersh, Anonymous Content and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Posey by CAA; and McDowell by Chris Roe Management.