Nook House Productions has tapped Ethan Hawke to direct a documentary project about the lives and careers of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, authorized by the family.
The producers include Emily Wachtel and Lisa Long Adler of Nook House Productions and Adam Gibbs, and Ryan Hawke of Under the Influence Productions.
In a statement Hawke said he promises a “rare and exclusive look at the careers of both actors and a complex 50-year relationship that ultimately managed to beat incredible odds.”
Newman and Woodward’s love story is truly one that seems written for Hollywood. They first met as colleagues in the early 1950s while working in New York City on a Broadway production of the romantic drama Picnic. They would head to Hollywood right after that, and would eventually work together again on the film in The Long, Hot Summer. By the end of that shoot, their love story truly began as the two were secretly living together before finally getting married in Las Vegas in 1958.
For the next five decades, the two took the road less traveled by Hollywood couples deciding to raise their three daughters in Connecticut even as Newman’s career took off. Both celebrated for how they balanced their professional and personal lives while also staying very much involved in politics and charity work, including the world famous salad dressing, Newman’s Own, which has all of its contributions delivered to charity.
Newman passed in 2008, months after celebrating the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary.
For Hawke, this marks his second time directing a documentary feature having previously helmed the doc Seymour: An Introduction – which documents the career of Seymour Bernstein, a classical pianist who abandoned his rising career as a concert pianist at age 50 to retreat to a more modest, private life as a music educator and composer.
He is repped by CAA and MGMT Entertainment.