Bryce Dallas Howard is joining up with Emma Stone and Viola Davis in the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help. The actress, best known for her roles in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village and Lady in the Water, is currently in negotiations to play Hilly Holbrook, the ringleader of a group of 1960s upper-class women in Mississippi who treat their black maids poorly and wind up becoming the subjects of a scathing book depicting their deplorable behavior.
Howard’s character will face off against Stone, who plays the protagonist Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, an aspiring writer who decides to interview the maids to learn what it’s really like being in the employ of these women. Viola Davis will play Aibileen, the domestic worker that gives her story to Skeeter, while encouraging the other maids to do so, too.
The film, written and directed by Stockett’s childhood friend Tate Taylor, will begin filming this July in Mississippi. Howard can next be seen in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, in which she’ll play the villainous and bloodthirsty vampire Victoria.
Chris Columbus and his 1942 Pictures are producing The Help with Dreamworks Studios.