Julie Delpy to Follow Up Her Writing Work on ‘Before Midnight’ With a Script Called ‘Cancer Vixen’

'Before Midnight' Press Conference - BMW At The 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival

Earlier this summer fans of independent film were generally wowed with the third movie in director Richard Linklater’s walking and talking trilogy, Before Midnight, which was a project that saw him sharing a writing credit with his two stars, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, for a second time. True Delpy-philes know that helping flesh out her character in Before Sunset and Before Midnight isn’t the only writing experience she has though. It’s true that she’s known primarily as an actress, but lately she’s been dipping her toes more and more into the world of writing and directing, which has led to her creating features like Two Days in Paris, its sequel Two Days in New York, and the French comedy Le Skylab.

And now Deadline is reporting that Delpy has again been hired to put pen to paper, this time to adapt Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s memoir “Cancer Vixen: A True Story” as a starring vehicle for Cate Blanchett. The deal is in the final stages of being put together by HBO Films, and it will see Blanchett serving as an executive producer as well as the film’s lead.

Marchetto, a famed cartoonist who’s worked for publications like ‘The New Yorker’ and ‘Glamour,’ wrote the memoir that’s now becoming Cancer Vixen about the period of her life when she was diagnosed with and battling breast cancer, and rather than being your typical cancer story about facing down mortality, never giving up hope, and whatnot, apparently her take on fighting the disease is slightly unique because she was also trendy and lived in Manhattan or something?

Okay, so the Amazon description for her memoir probably sells the story better. The book is described there thusly:

“‘What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds . . . a lump in her breast?’ That’s the question that sets this powerful, funny, and poignant graphic memoir in motion. In vivid color and with a taboo-breaking sense of humor, Marisa Acocella Marchetto tells the story of her eleven-month, ultimately triumphant bout with breast cancer—from diagnosis to cure, and every challenging step in between.”

Despite the unsettling Sex in the City coattail riding that seems to be going on in this description, that bit about her “taboo-breaking sense of humor” sounds pretty promising, and should prove to be material that’s a good fit for Delpy to adapt. As she’s shown in her work with Linklater and Hawke, as well as in her own films, she’s definitely not a writer who attempts to shy away from addressing the awkward and painful moments in life. And as Blanchett recently showed in Woody Allen’s Blue Valentine, she’s definitely a performer who can make you squirm by throwing herself into uncomfortable scenarios and letting them play out over her character’s face. HBO might have something special on their hands with this one.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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