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Sweetbitter - Ella Purnell to Star in Drama Based on Novel Ordered to Series by Starz



STARZ CASTS ELLA PURNELL AS "TESS" FOR SCRIPTED DRAMA SERIES "SWEETBITTER"

Richard Shepard Joins as Executive Producer, Directing Series Premiere of Six-Episode First Season Based on Stephanie Danler's Best-Selling Novel

Beverly Hills, Calif. - October 6, 2017- Starz announced today that Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Never Let Me Go, Kick-Ass 2, Maleficent) has been cast in the lead role of "Tess" for "Sweetbitter," the recently greenlit, straight-to-series drama for STARZ, based on Stephanie Danler's national best-selling novel.

Starz President of Programming Carmi Zlotnik, said "Ella's portfolio of work and the array of her characters and performances in her young career are truly remarkable. We are excited for fans of the book and audiences to meet 'Tess.' We are also excited by Richard's vision to bring the book's richly written sensory experiences from the page to the screen." Emmy

· and DGA Award winning writer/director, Richard Shepard, has also been named an executive producer for "Sweetbitter" and will direct the series premiere episode from the upcoming first season. Shepard's features include "The Matador" starring Pierce Brosnan and "Dom Hemingway" starring Jude Law. Shepard directed 12 episodes of the Golden Globe

· winning series "Girls," as well as the pilots for "Criminal Minds," "Ugly Betty," among many others. Shepard directed the Emmy

· nominated documentary I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale and recently sold his short film Tokyo Project starring Elisabeth Moss.

Starz ordered six half-hour episodes for the initial season of the scripted drama.

"Sweetbitter" follows 22-year-old Tess who, shortly after arriving in New York City, lands a job at a celebrated downtown restaurant. Swiftly introduced to the world of drugs, alcohol, love, lust, dive bars, and fine dining, she learns to navigate the chaotically alluring, yet punishing life she has stumbled upon. This is the story of a young woman's coming-of-age, set against the rich and grimy backdrop of exclusive restaurants, conjuring a nonstop and high-adrenaline world evoking the possibility, beauty, and fragility of being young and adrift.

Danler has written the script for the first episode. Stu Zicherman ("The Americans," "The Affair," "Six Degrees") joins Danler, and both will serve as executive producers along with Plan B Entertainment and Richard Shepard. Donna Bloom will serve as producer on the six-episode freshman season. Laura Rosenthal is currently leading the ongoing casting search.
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STARZ GREENLIGHTS SAVORY DRAMA SERIES "SWEETBITTER"

Casting Currently Underway for the Half-Hour Scripted Drama Based on the Best-Selling Novel

Beverly Hills, Calif. - October 4, 2017- Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht announced today that the network has ordered straight to series six half-hour episodes of the scripted drama "Sweetbitter," based on the national best-selling novel of the same name written by Stephanie Danler.

"Stephanie's smart, sensory and genuine storytelling is set in the world of high-end dining, fueled by too much debauchery, drugs and French wine," said Albrecht. "Stephanie, Stu and Plan B have found an exciting way to translate the celebration of senses depicted in the book to the screen, and along the way, will post a love letter to New York City. We look forward to announcing our Tess, Jake, Simone and Howard soon."

Previously announced as a development project for the network in July, Danler has written the script for the first episode. Stu Zicherman ("The Americans," "The Affair," "Six Degrees") joins Danler, and both will serve as executive producers along with Plan B Entertainment. Donna Bloom will serve as producer on the six-episode freshman season. Laura Rosenthal is currently leading the ongoing casting search.

"This has already been a thrilling ride, and I can't wait for everyone to see how we expanded the world and characters beyond the book," said Danler. "I've been working with the most brilliant and generous people, and am extremely grateful. It's an honor to show up to work every day."

"Sweetbitter" follows 22-year-old Tess who, shortly after arriving in New York City, lands a job at a celebrated downtown restaurant. Swiftly introduced to the world of drugs, alcohol, love, lust, dive bars, and fine dining, she learns to navigate the chaotically alluring, yet punishing life she has stumbled upon. This is the story of a young woman's coming-of-age, set against the rich and grimy backdrop of exclusive restaurants, conjuring a nonstop and high-adrenaline world evoking the possibility, beauty, and fragility of being young and adrift.

Starz retains all global distribution and home entertainment rights to the series.
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