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America Ferrera to Star in Paul Greengrass’ Wildfire Drama ‘The Lost Bus’ With Matthew McConaughey (EXCLUSIVE)


Oscar nominee America Ferrera has been cast in her next role outside of Barbie World.

Ferrera has signed on to star in Oscar nominee Paul Greengrass’ upcoming drama “The Lost Bus” alongside Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey, Variety has learned exclusively.

Being developed, produced and distributed by Apple Original Films with an original script by Brad Inglesby (“Mare of Easttown”), the film is based on Lizzie Johnson’s book “Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire” about the devastating 2018 California wildfires that resulted in over 100 deaths and destroyed the majority of the town of Paradise. The fires were the deadliest in the state’s history. The movie centers on Kevin McKay (McConaughey) and Mary Ludwig (Ferrera), a bus driver and teacher who lead a school bus full of young students through the Camp Fire. The film will go into production this spring.

Ferrera is coming off receiving her first Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress for her role as Gloria, a mother and Mattel employee who embarks on an adventure to Barbie World in Greta Gerwig’s billion-dollar blockbuster “Barbie.” She is the ninth Latina actress ever nominated in this category and the first since Ariana DeBose won for “West Side Story” in 2021.

Ferrera first gained attention with the 2002 coming-of-age film “Real Women Have Curves,” which led to her starring role in the comedy TV series “Ugly Betty.” As Betty Suarez, she became the first and only Latina to win the lead comedy actress award at the Emmys in 2007, and remains the only one to have been nominated in the category more than once. Also a Golden Globe and SAG-winning actor, Ferrera is making her directorial debut, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” an adaptation of the acclaimed novel, slated for production in 2024 and written by “Flamin’ Hot” scribe Linda Yvette Chavez.

Greengrass received his sole directing nod for the emotional 9/11 drama “United 93” (2006), and has helmed other Oscar-nominated and winning movies such as “The Bourne Ultimatium,” “Captain Phillips” and “News of the World.” McConaughey won his Oscar for best actor for “Dallas Buyers Club” (2013), playing Ron Woodroof, a man who takes on the system after being diagnosed with HIV.

The new project will be produced by Jamie Lee Curtis’ Comet Pictures, Jason Blum’s Blumhouse, Ingelsby and Greg Goodman. Lizzie Johnson and Amy Lord are executive producers. This marks the second collaboration between Apple and Inglesby (after the upcoming “Echo Valley” with Julianne Moore).

Ferrera is represented by CAA, ID, and Peikoff & Mahan.