‘Election’ Sequel ‘Tracy Flick Can’t Win’ In Works For Paramount+; Reese Witherspoon To Produce And Return As Title Character, With Alexander Payne Directing

Paramount Pictures has announced that Tracy Flick Can’t Win — a sequel to Alexander Payne’s cult classic 1999 comedy Election — is being made for Paramount+. Payne is returning as director, with the original film’s lead Reese Witherspoon to produce and reprise her starring role.

Based on Tom Perrotta’s 1998 novel of the same name, Election watches as the high school teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) finds himself on a collision course with the over-achieving student politician, Tracy Flick (Witherspoon). The satire drawing parallels between the worlds of high school and politics was Payne’s second feature on the heels of 1996’s Citizen Ruth and proved to be his breakthrough project, netting him and his collaborators three Independent Spirit Awards, a WGA Award and an Oscar nomination, with Witherspoon landing her first Golden Globe nomination.

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The Election sequel is based on a follow-up novel by Perrotta, which was published by Scribner in June. It’s another satirical dark comedy that finds the eponymous Tracy in adulthood and still struggling to fight her way to the top. Payne is once again adapting the screenplay with Jim Taylor. Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter will produce the film for Hello Sunshine, a Candle Media company, alongside Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa of Bona Fide Productions (Election), with Perrotta serving as executive producer.

In addition to Citizen Ruth and Election, Payne has previously helmed the Oscar-winning features Sideways and The Descendants, as well as the Oscar-nominated films About Schmidt and Nebraska, the 2017 Matt Damon comedy Downsizing and other projects. Coming up next for release from Payne is the Focus Features pic The Holdovers with Paul Giamatti.

Witherspoon currently stars opposite Jennifer Aniston in Apple TV+’s series The Morning Show, having also recently appeared in series like Little Fires Everywhere and Big Little Lies, and films like A Wrinkle in Time. She exec produces The Morning Show and has also recently produced the features Where the Crawdads Sing and Something from Tiffany’s, among many other projects.

Perrotta is a bestseller whose novel Little Children was likewise adapted into an Oscar-nominated film. He’s otherwise perhaps best known for his novels The Leftovers and Mrs. Fletcher, both of which were adapted into critically acclaimed series for HBO.

Taylor is a long-time collaborator of Payne’s who has previously collaborated with him in the writing of Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt, Sideways (which won both an Oscar) and Downsizing. Additional credits for the writer include Juliet, Naked and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.

Payne is repped by RadicalMedia, CAA, Bloom Hergott Diemer and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Witherspoon by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; Taylor by UTA and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; and Perrotta by WME.

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