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Ben Stiller, Jesse Eisenberg, Sally Hawkins Circling ‘Semplica Girl Diaries’ for ‘Paddington 2’ Star Richard Ayoade



British comedy, writer, actor and filmmaker Richard Ayoade looks to have attracted an A-list lineup for his third feature in the director’s chair.

According to sources, Ben Stiller, Jesse Eisenberg and Sally Hawkins are all in negotiations to star in the dystopian comedy The Semplica Girl Diarieswhich Ayoade has adapted from George Saunders short story of the same name alongside the Booker Prize-winning American author.

First published in 2012, the story follows a suburban father-of-three who keeps a diary in which alludes to a status symbol outdoor decoration called Semplica Girls. When he eventually buys one for his teenage daughter, it’s revealed that these girls are actually poor young women from countries such as Laos and Cambodia who have sold themselves as garden ornaments.

Cornerstone are handling international sales on the project and are believed to be introducing it to buyers at the European Film Market.

The casting would see Ayoade reunited with Eisenberg, who starred in his second directed feature The Double, based on Dostoyevsky’s novella. His directorial debut was 2010’s coming-of-age comedy Submarine. Meanwhile, Ayoade will next be seen in Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley and Rupert Friend.

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