Viola Davis
Viola Davis

On the heels of her Screen Actors Guild award over the weekend for her performance in “Fences” (she’s also an Oscar front-runner for the same role), Viola Davis has signed up to co-star alongside Julia Roberts in a film adaptation of author Jodi Picoult’s 2016 bestseller “Small Great Things” whose feature film rights were picked up by Amblin Partners, to be produced by Marc Platt (producer of another Oscar front-runner “La La Land”).

The novel’s story follows Ruth Jefferson, a veteran African America delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital who is assigned to a new case, only to find out the that the patient’s parents are white supremacists who don’t want Ruth to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? She chooses the latter, saving the baby, which violates an order, and she is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case.

Davis will play Ruth Jefferson; and Roberts will play the public defender who takes her case in a film that will tackle race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion.

A screenwriter is currently being sought to adapt the novel, with the project set up at DreamWorks Pictures with Marc Platt’s production shingle producing.

No director is attached at this time, and no ETA either; but this has awards season contender all over it, given that the story and the cast.

If you’ve read the book, share your thoughts in the comments section.

Others can pick up a copy of “Small Great Things” by clicking on the image below.

Also on Viola Davis’ slate is a Harriet Tubman biopic for HBO and Steve McQueen’s “Widows.” She can currently be seen on ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder.”

Deadline was first to report the “Small Great Things” news.

small great things