Pop Goes The News — Canada’s Jean-Marc Vallée will direct all seven episodes of the new HBO limited series Big Little Lies, the network announced Thursday.
The Montreal-based filmmaker will also be an executive producer of the series, along with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman and their respective producing partners Bruno Papandrea and Per Saari.
Vallée’s producing partner Nathan Ross and veteran TV producer David E. Kelley are also executive producers of Big Little Lies.
Vallée was originally expected to direct only the pilot episode but, at last month’s Los Cabos International Film Festival, he told Pop Goes The News he was going to direct the first two episodes and the last.
He said it was Witherspoon — with whom he worked on Wild — who convinced him to make his TV debut with Big Little Lies.
“I like [Reese] so much and I had such a great time with her that I went, ‘alright, let’s try to do this,’” recalled Vallée, whose films include The Dallas Buyers Club and Demolition.
“I wanted to try this. I’m approaching this just like I’m shooting a feature film.”
Vallée said he loved Kelley’s scripts, based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty.
“The female characters are so strong and powerful and so interesting,” he said. “It’s no wonder it’s coming from Reese. Reese has a mission to find material with great female characters.”
Vallée said there are benefits to telling stories on small screens these days — specifically, binge watching.
“You start with an episode and you have the box set or you go on Netflix and you can watch the second one and the third one and then you realize it’s five in the morning and you have a meeting at 7 and you’ve watched 10 episodes,” he said.
“It’s addictive and you get to relate to these characters because it’s not just two hours.”
Big Little Lies will star Witherspoon and Kidman as well as Laura Dern (also in Wild), Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz and Adam Scott.