Celeste Ng’s best-selling novel, Little Fires Everywhere, is gearing up for its TV debut as casting decisions are being finalized.
According to Deadline, the last major character from the book, Bebe Chow, has been casted and will be played by Chinese actress Huang Lu. Joshua Jackson, originally of Dawson’s Creek fame and recently of When They See Us, was also one of the last to round out the cast and will play Bill Richardson, the workaholic attorney patriarch of a family in crisis when the novel opens up to his youngest daughter, Isabella, missing as their home burns. Intricately weaving the tale of the Richardsons with matriarch Elena and the four children and their relationship with their new vagabondish tenants, Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl, the story also evolves into a custody fight between another two mothers that has divided Elena and Mia along with the 1990s Shaker Heights, Ohio community.
Before the novel was released in 2017, Reese Witherspoon bought the rights, which she had first done with Gone Girl. It has become her specialty: to buy the rights for television and film purposes before the book hits shelves. This time it will be with her Hello Sunshine brand, most known for its monthly book club. Currently starring in the second season of HBO’s Big Little Lies, which already reached the deadly ending of Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name, Reese is working on the Little Fires Everywhere project with Scandal star Kerry Washington.
This will be Kerry’s first major project with her production company, Simpson Street. It was behind her most recent Broadway play, American Son, which is the debut of playwright Christopher Demos-Brown and directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon.
Celeste, Reese, and Kerry will be executive producers for the eight-episode limited series. According to IMDB and Deadline, the casting for the major characters are complete.
Elena Richardson will be played by Reese Witherspoon.
Mia Warren will be played by Kerry Washington.
Pearl Warren will be played by Lexi Underwood.
Bill Richardson will be played by Joshua Jackson.
Izzy Richardson will be played by Megan Stott.
Lexie Richardson will be played by Jade Pettyjohn.
Trip Richardson will be played by Jordan Elsass.
Moody Richardson will be played by Gavin Lewis.
Bebe Chow will be played by Huang Lu.
Linda McCullough will be played by Rosemarie DeWitt.
Restaurant manager (where Mia and Bebe work) will be played by Paul Yen.
Little Fires Everywhere landed at Hulu following a multiple-outlet bidding war and will also be under the umbrella of ABC Signature Studios along with Hello Sunshine and Simpson Street. Liz Tigelaar (Casual, Life Unexpected), Lauren Neustadter, Pilar Savone and Lynn Sheldon will all executive produce. Award-winning mystery novelist Attica Locke is also one of the writers, as seen in the show’s Instagram account, fresh from working on Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us.
“At Hello Sunshine, we strive to shine a light on female-driven stories that are rooted in inspiration, emotion and truth – all of which form the bedrock of Celeste Ng’s ingenious work,” Reese said in the March 2018 Hulu press release first announcing the project. “Hulu has a rich history of transforming groundbreaking literature into groundbreaking television, and we are confident that their talented team will use this story to spur a long-overdue dialogue around race, class, and what it means to be a mother. With Kerry Washington, Liz Tigelaar and now Hulu, Hello Sunshine has brought together a dream lineup of creative collaborators, and we are privileged and humbled to have the opportunity to work with them to bring this important project to life.”
“As producers, we at Simpson Street are so proud to be part of this team to tell this extraordinary story inspired by Celeste Ng’s phenomenal novel and we are thrilled to be embarking on this journey with Hulu,” Kerry said in a press release. “As an actress, I am floored to have the opportunity to work alongside Reese Witherspoon exploring the rich themes of this story playing these dynamic characters.”