Zendaya to produce, star in thriller on Anita Hemmings, first black woman Vassar grad, passing as white to attend

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Zendaya has booked what Deadline calls a hot pitch package on the street right now.

The film is called ‘A White Lie’ and it is a film adaptation of the Karin Tanabe novel, The Gilded Years.

The novel, a psychological thriller, “built around the true story of Anita Hemmings, a light-skinned African American woman. She is the daughter of a janitor, who passed as white so she could attend Vassar at the turn of the century.” She is treated as a wealthy and educated white woman and sparks a romance with a rich Harvard student.

Zendaya will play Hemmings.

She will produce the film, along with Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter through Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.

Monica Beletsky is writing.


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