Selma’s Ava DuVernay To Helm The Battle of Versailles For HBO


Juggling A Wrinkle In Time and Intelligent Life, in-demand filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma) has been tapped to direct The Battle of Versailles for HBO.

Deadline has the scoop, revealing that despite a jam-packed slate, DuVernay is still carving out time to take on new projects, with the latest now being an adaptation of Robin Givhan’s titular novel.

While the evocative title paints a wartime thriller, The Battle of Versailles charts a fateful night in world fashion when, in November of 1973, the top brass of French designers – including Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro and Christian Dior’s Marc Bohan – locked horns with five American designers.

Writing them off as relative unknowns from the get-go, it wasn’t long before the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Halston, Stephen Burrows and Anne Klein began to make a name for themselves in the Palace of Versailles, irrevocably changing the face of world fashion. As Givhan’s book describes: “careers would be ignited; racial barriers would be shattered; and the fashion industry would be forever transformed.”

Co-writing, directing and executive producing The Battle of Versailles, Ava DuVernay will assume much of the creative control for HBO Films’ real-life feature. Jim Whitaker (Pete’s Dragon) and Catherine Hand are set to leverage producing duties, with Deadline confirming that the cameras will begin rolling later in 2016.