If ever there was a public servant comfort food, it would be that of the venerable and celebrated maid: Those stalwarts who, day-in and day-out, cook and clean and tend to their employers every whim. Pop culture – especially television, but also in film – has seemingly always been quite taken with the premise of hired help as a sort of surrogate parent and dispenser of truths and comical pratfalls. From Shirley Booth (Hazel) to Ann B. Davis (The Brady Bunch) to Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons) and to Emma Thompson (The Remains of the Day) these reliable tropes have provided a warm comfort for generations of fans and have even gone deep to make us feel an empathy for their reliable service and extreme sacrifices (looking at you here, Ms. Thompson). And now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, no less of an acting talent than Florence Pugh (Midsommar) is set to pick up the baton for this trusted tradition in Universal’s murder mystery The Maid.
The upcoming film is about a maid (Pugh) named Molly who works at the posh Regency Grand Hotel. During the course of a regular work day, she discovers a quite dead hotel guest. Eschewing the leaving of a pillow mint, the resourceful maid goes all Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and takes it upon herself to solve the mystery of his death.
The Maid is based off Nita Prose’s (great handle, by the by: Her actual name is Nita Pronovost) freshman novel of the same name. And, in a deal that is not altogether unusual (i.e. see Benchley’s Jaws), Prose’s novel was optioned through the galleys. The book itself will not see the light of day until 2022 when Penguin Random House in the States publishes it. Josh McLaughlin and Chris Goldberg are set to produce the film courtesy of their respective production houses Wink Pictures and Winterlight Pictures. In a sign of her growing star-power, Pugh will also serve as a producer. And, for good juju, Nita Prose is acting as an executive producer.
The good Samaritans who got the Universal deal together to option The Maid was ICM Partners via Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV and Film Agency (say it ten times fast, kiddies). As of press time, there is no director attached and no firm shooting date.