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Barrymore to ‘Whip’ Page

Hot on the heels of her star making turn in Juno, Ellen Page has signed for the lead role in Mandate Pictures’ Whip It! – to be directed by Drew Barrymore. It will be her directorial debut.

The film follows a young Texas teen, Bliss, who rebels against her beauty pageant obsessed parents and enters the female roller derby circuit. The film is penned by Derby star Shauna Cross- a.k.a Maggie Mayhem

Originally set to roll at Warner Bros. – the film re-teams star Page with Mandate, which was also the company behind Juno.

Whip It! sounds like a potentially interesting project, but a film set in the Roller Derby world seems a tad out of date. For a brief period in the late seventies/ early eighties, Roller Derby was everywhere. Raquel Welsh even starred in a big Roller Derby film called Kansas City Bomber. The fad petered out once disco died. If they make this a period film it could be a lot of fun. If it’s contemporary than it might be in for trouble- as there’s no one out there who really cares about Roller Derby anymore.

It sounds to me like Mandate is trying to get themselves another Juno, with Page once again playing a quirky teen. It might work, as Page is definitely a hot property these days. Whether or not Barrymore has any talent behind the camera remains to be seen, and I don’t think Barrymore’s a particularly great actress. Then again, I wasn’t a Ben Affleck fan either, but his directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, turned out to be one of my favorite films of the year.

Go figure.

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