Julia Stiles Wraps On Directorial Debut ‘Wish You Were Here’; Isabelle Fuhrman, Mena Massoud, Jennifer Grey, Kelsey Grammer & More Star

EXCLUSIVE: Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated actress Julia Stiles has wrapped production on her directorial debut, Wish You Were Here, based on the bestseller by Renee Carlino. The cast includes Isabelle Fuhrman (The Novice), Mena Massoud (Aladdin), Jimmie Fails (The Last Black Man in San Francisco), Gabby Kono (Magic Carpet Rides), Jennifer Grey (A Real Pain) and Kelsey Grammer (Frasier).

Adapted for the screen by Stiles, the film tells the story of Charlotte, a woman who finds herself in a rut, searching for a spark that seems just out of reach. After she has a whirlwind night of romance and imagining a future with a man named Adam, he ghosts her. But when Charlotte finally discovers that Adam is terminally ill, she helps him spend his last days living life to the fullest.

More from Deadline

In a statement to Deadline, Stiles shared that she’s “been looking for years for the right story to tell” as director, “and finally found it here. Wish You Were Here is a love story that explores what it means to be human, all the laughter and tears that remind us we are alive.”

Fuhrman shared that she watched Julia pen the script while the pair were at work on horror sequel Orphan: First Kill in 2020. “When she called me to be her lead I was so grateful,” the actress said. “Watching her create her own romance film- a genre she knows better than anyone else- has really inspired me.”

In addition to Phiphen’s founder, award-winning producer Molly Conners (Birdman, Frozen River), producers on the film include Amanda Bowers (Phiphen), Kono, Rick Dugdale (Enderby), Jane Sinisi (Phiphen), Siena Oberman (Artemis), and Gary Leff (Southland Securities) as exec producer.

Rising to prominence in the late ’90s and early ‘2000s as the star of films like 10 Things I Hate About You, Stiles’ most recent projects in front of the camera include the rom-com Chosen Family with Heather Graham, Prime Video dramedy The Lake, Orphan: First Kill, and indie The God Committee opposite Grammer. Previously, she’s also been seen in the Bourne franchise led by Matt Damon, as well as such acclaimed titles as Hustlers, Silver Linings Playbook, Hamlet and more.

Stiles’ lead, Fuhrman, is best known for starring in the Orphan films, as well as the rowing drama The Novice, which won her the prize for Best Actress at the Tribeca Festival. Also previously seen in Showtime’s Masters of Sex and The Hunger Games, her next big project coming to theaters is Kevin Costner’s two-partner Horizon: An American Saga.

Fuhrman is represented by UTA, Luber Roklin Entertainment, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Massoud by Gersh, Link Entertainment, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; Fails by Anonymous Content and Yorn, Levine, Barnes; Kono by Untitled Entertainment and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Grey by UTA and Untitled Entertainment; Grammer by UTA and Vault Entertainment; and Stiles by Gersh, Untitled Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.