Carrie Brownstein to direct Annie Murphy in new comedy film ‘Witness Protection’

‘Schitt’s Creek’ alumni Rupinder Gill and David West Read will write the film’s screenplay

Carrie Brownstein will reportedly direct a new comedy film titled Witness Protection, with Schitt’s Creek star Annie Murphy locked in for the lead role.

According to an April 11 Deadline report, the film will focus on Murphy’s as-yet-unnamed character, “a woman who has always defined herself by her romantic relationships” and who becomes embroiled in a situation that forces her into witness protection. There, “she must try to figure out who she really is for the first time while maintaining her cover and keeping the criminals at bay”.

Murphy will also executive produce the film alongside her Schitt’s Creek crewmates Rupinder Gill and David West Read, who are also writing the screenplay.


Witness Protection will come as Brownstein’s third film as a director, following MGM’s currently unreleased Fairy Godmother and a film about Seattle rockers Heart. The former production was announced back in 2019, with its logline reading: “When sought-after Fairy Godmother Faye is hired by a mind-bogglingly gorgeous teenage client, Kenzie, to find her true love with the hottest prince in the land, Faye finds herself facing an unfamiliar challenge when the prince starts falling for her instead.”

Last year, Heart frontwoman Ann Wilson revealed that work on their biopic was well underway, and due to be released as an Amazon Original.

Brownstein has a long history behind the camera, having previously directed episodes of IFC’s Portlandia (which she also co-created, wrote, produced and starred in), Hulu’s Casual and Shrill, HBO’s Mrs. Fletcher and Comedy Central’s Idiotsitter. She also helmed the KENZO fashion film The Realest Real, which starred Natasha Lyonne and Mahershala Ali.

Last year, Brownstein starred as herself in St. Vincent‘s “bananas art film” The Nowhere Inn. In a three-star review, NME’s Leonie Cooper wrote: “At worst, The Nowhere Inn is an hour-and-a-half-long in-joke in which Annie Clark seizes full control of her narrative, serving up a series of different versions of herself to baffle and confuse. But at its best, it’s funny and knowing – maybe a little too knowing – by asking questions about authenticity and how almost everything in the music industry, even if it looks like it isn’t, is contrived.”

Speaking to NME in 2019, Brownstein spoke of marrying her work as a musician with directing and creating film and television. “I like having a variety of outlets for my energy and interests,” she said. “It allows me to learn about the nature of collaboration because most of these projects aside from writing are in relation to others and I think that that is a way of learning compromise and becoming more compassionate and less precious about your ideas but also clarifying when you know your idea is the best idea.”


Brownstein has also kept busy with her band, Sleater-Kinney, who last week announced a full-length recreation of their 1997 album ‘Dig Me Out’. It’ll comprise covers by the likes of Courtney Barnett, St. Vincent, Wilco, The Linda Lindas, TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, and many more. A release date is yet to be confirmed, though the band said in a teaser that it’s due out in the summer.

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