Producer Lynette Howell Taylor (“Big Eyes,” “Captain Fantastic”) has launched 51 Entertainment, a production company dedicated to making films with better gender representation and diversity. ScreenDaily confirms that the first project 51 Entertainment will produce is Brie Larson’s feature directorial debut, “Unicorn Store.”
“The name 51 is associated with the idea of majority,” Howell Taylor explained. “Women are still the majority in the United States and yet the balance is greatly tipped against us in the entertainment industry when it comes to opportunities.”
The Gotham Award winner continued, “Part of the mission for 51 will be to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion in hiring practices across all areas of film and TV, both in front of, and behind the camera, in every department. It is a not a female content company or a company focusing only on female filmmakers; instead it is a company that will aim to achieve greater balance.”
Howell Taylor is joined by frequent collaborators Samantha Housman and Derek Iger at 51 Entertainment. She will continue to work with Jamie Patricof at Electric City Entertainment in addition to producing projects for 51.
Written by Samantha McIntyre (“Married,” “People of Earth”), “Unicorn Store” stars Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. Not much is known about the plot except that Larson will play Kit, a young woman who is invited to the store of her childhood dreams.
51 Entertainment seems to be the perfect fit for Larson, who has been outspoken about the need for inclusivity onscreen and behind the scenes. “I love that we’re seeing stronger women on the screen — but I don’t think that’s the end of this conversation,” the Oscar winner said. “We need more intersectionality. We need more unique voices because what directing is, is saying: ‘This is how I view the world,’ and I think the way we can connect and learn more is seeing the world through other people’s eyes.”
Howell Taylor is a member of Women In Film and the Los Angeles Women’s Collective Pac, and is a Sundance Creative Producing Initiative adviser. She created the Horizon Award for female filmmakers with producers Cassian Elwes (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Christine Vachon (“Carol”) as well.
The “Star Is Born” remake starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper and Marja-Lewis Ryan’s addiction drama “6 Balloons” are among Howell Taylor’s upcoming projects. Houseman is also producing the latter.
You can catch Larson next in “The Glass Castle,” a film adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ memoir of the same name. Larson stars as the adult Walls, who is trying to break away from her dysfunctional parents (Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson). The drama opens August 11.
Brie Larson’s “Unicorn Store” to Be First Film Produced by Gender Balanced Prod Co. was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.