Four years after being hired as “The Daily Show’s” very first African American female correspondent (in 2012), Jessica Williams said goodbye to the Comedy Central show earlier this year. Although she hasn’t left Comedy Central entirely. In fact, Williams signed a development deal with the network over the summer that will see her write, produce, and star in the pilot for a half-hour scripted series produced by Naomi Ekperigin (“Broad City,” “Difficult People”), that will center on “a politically-minded young woman who may be ‘woke’ but doesn’t know what she’s doing,” according to the official description.
In addition to that TV project, Williams will also take her talents to the big screen, starring in writer/director Jim Strouse’ new film in a role specifically developed for her. The pair first worked together on Strouse’ “People Places Things,” which premiered to critical and audience acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015, and was released later that year.
The new film, titled “The Incredible Jessica James,” is also Sundance Film Festival bound where it will make its World Premiere, serving as the Closing Night film. The story follows Jessica James, an aspiring NYC playwright, who is struggling to get over a recent breakup. She sees a light at the end of the tunnel when she meets the recently divorced Boone. Together, they discover how to make it through the tough times while realizing they like each other—a lot.
Joining Jessica Williams in the cast are Chris O’Dowd (as Boone), Lakeith Stanfield (as the ex-boyfriend Jessica still carries a torch for), and Noël Wells (as Jessica’s best friend and confidante).
Commenting on Jessica Williams’ casting, Jim Strouse stated, “While I was in the edit room for ‘People Places Things,’ I kept telling people that I can’t wait till she stars in her own movie. I just decided to get a jump on it and wrote one for her. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be making it with Jessica and the rest of this incredible cast which came together around her.”
The film was shot in New York City, with Michael B. Clark and Alex Turtletaub of Beachside producing and financing the picture.
Williams is an executive producer.
No trailer yet; but Sundance has released the above pic of star Jessica Williams.