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Indian American Filmmaker Nisha Ganatra to Direct ‘Freaky Friday’ Sequel For Disney

Indian American Filmmaker Nisha Ganatra to Direct ‘Freaky Friday’ Sequel For Disney

  • She recently directed “Late Night,” starring Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson.

Filmmaker Nisha Ganatra will direct the sequel to Disney’s “Freaky Friday,” marking the return of Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. While there’s no details yet on the plot of the new film, Deadline reported that is is “targeting a summer shoot in Los Angeles.” The script of the sequel is written by Jordan Weiss, while Andrew Gunn, who worked on the original film, will produce, alongside Kristin Burr. 

Released in 2003, “Freaky Friday” revolves around Tess Coleman (Curtis), a single mother and uptight psychiatrist, and her rebellious teenage daughter, Anna (Lohan). Constantly at odds with each other due to their differing perspectives on life, they find themselves magically swapping bodies after a mysterious fortune cookie incident at a Chinese restaurant. As Tess wakes up in Anna’s body and vice versa, they are forced to live each other’s lives for a day.

An Emmy nominee and a Golden Globe winner as the director/producer of “Transparent,” she most recently directed episodes of Hulu’s “Welcome to Chippendales.” She also directed “The High Note” for Working Title and Focus Features, starring Tracee Ellis Ross, Ice Cube and June Diane Raphael. Her previous film, “Late Night,” starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling, premiered at Sundance. It was sold to Amazon in a record-breaking deal and garnered the highest streaming numbers of the year. She was recently ranked the #1 director globally by Cannes, an honor only one other woman has achieved.

Her debut feature, “Chutney Popcorn,” with Jill Hennessy and Sakina Jaffrey, won the audience award at the Berlin Film Festival. Since then, Ganatra “has been creating emotional, authentic and humorous stories by infusing her keen sense of comedy and storytelling with her personal life experience and point of view,” her website says. Her sophomore feature, “Cosmopolitan,” starring Carol Kane and Roshan Seth, premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival. 

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She also directed the pilot “Deli Boys” for Hulu,”Clean Slate” for Amazon, “The Royals” for Netflix, and directed “Welcome to Chippendale” for Hulu. She also directed Liz Sarnoff’s pilot “Highland,” and sold a drama project to ABC and a comedy pilot to NBC with Amy Poehler producing. She was the co-executive producer/director for “Better Things,” with Pamela Adlon, and the co-executive producer/director on “You Me Her.” She also created “Code Academy” for the ITVS/PBS series “Futurestates.” Ganatra has directed episodes of “Girls,” “Dear White People,” “Future Man,” “Mr. Robot,” “Shameless,” “Married,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Last Man on Earth,” “Love” and “Black Monday.”

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