MEDIA RELEASE: BentFrame Film & TV and Cineflix Studios adapting Heather Marshall’s international best seller Looking for Jane for TV

February 17, 2023
Celeste Parr will act as showrunner on series

BentFrame Film & TV, the Toronto-based production company founded by multi-award-winning director-showrunner Adrienne Mitchell (Durham County, Bellevue, Coroner), and Cineflix Studios (Tehran, Reginald the Vampire, Coroner) have announced a TV adaptation of Heather Marshall’s international best seller Looking for Jane. Celeste Parr (Ethel, This Life) is on board the series as creator and showrunner.

Spanning six decades and multiple timelines, Looking for Jane is an unforgettable novel about three women whose lives are bound together by a long-lost letter and a secret network of women fighting for the right to choose. The novel is inspired by true stories of the real-life Jane Collective that provided safe but illegal abortions under the constant threat of police raids and prison. Part mystery, part tragedy, part rallying call, Looking for Jane is an ode to our interconnectedness and the risks we’re willing to take for the freedom and dignity of our fellow human. The timely TV series is in development as the world marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, and when a woman’s right to choose in the US is under the greatest threat for decades.

Canadian author Heather Marshall’s debut novel was an instant number one best seller, so far spending 27 weeks on the best sellers list in Canada and was featured in 2022 ‘best of’ lists from Indigo, CBC, and Globe & Mail. The novel has been published around the world in countries including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Lithuania, South Africa, and Brazil.

The novel has also just launched to US readers, as one of the most anticipated books of the year. Associated Press praised the novel as ‘gripping from the moment it begins, historical, relevant … [with] the momentum of a high-speed chase’, noting that, ‘Between the rolling back of abortion and health care rights in the United States after Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, and the ongoing national reckoning that countries including Canada and Ireland are facing for atrocities committed in church-run homes, “Looking for Jane” . . . has the potential to remain pertinent for generations.’ Kirkus praised the novel as the novel as, ‘Absorbing and timely … A charged topic handled with sensitivity and compassion.’

Celeste Parr is the WGC Award and Prix Iris-nominated film and TV writer and producer who most recently wrote the original screenplay for Ethel, the highly anticipated period musical drama and true story of Ethel Stark, the groundbreaking conductor who founded the first all-female orchestra in Montreal. Her previous credits include Hudson and Rex, This Life, and Gurov and Anna.

Zach Marcovici will produce for BentFrame, with Sonia Hosko and Brett Burlock as Executive Producers for Cineflix Studios.

Adrienne Mitchell, who will serve as Executive Producer and Lead Director of the adaptation, said: “BentFrame is all about telling powerful stories from unique perspectives which cast fresh insight on history and the many lived experiences we share. I can’t think of a better example than Heather’s exceptional novel, which shines a light on what might be history to some, but remains for many women a battle that is still being fought.”

Heather Marshall commented: “I’m delighted that BentFrame has acquired the dramatic rights to Looking for Jane. From our first meeting, it was clear that Adrienne and Zach had the passion and experience needed to bring this story to the screen, and I was so pleased when I learned they had brought on Celeste as showrunner and screenwriter. I have every confidence their adaptation will thrill readers who are eager to see the Janes come to life on-screen!”

Celeste Parr added: “To be entrusted with this courageous, deeply emotional, and urgently-needed story by Heather Marshall is a waking dream. It’s my great privilege to join forces with Adrienne and Zach, with whom I instantly connected through our shared vision to bring this series to a global audience and celebrate those who have fought and continue to fight for reproductive justice for all.”

Celeste Parr is represented by The Characters Talent Agency and Thruline Entertainment; Heather Marshall is represented by Hayley Steed and Hannah Ladds at Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency, who brokered the adaptation deal with BentFrame. BentFrame Film & TV is represented by Great North Artists Management.