Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon is returning to her iconic role of Tracy Flick from the 1999 film, “Election.” Per The Hollywood Reporter, Witherspoon will reunite with filmmaker Alexander Payne, director and co-writer of the original film, for the upcoming sequel, which is being made as a straight-to-streaming feature for Paramount+.
Reese Witherspoon Is Back As Tracy Flick
The new film, “Tracy Flick Can’t Win” will be written by Payne and Jim Taylor, who both co-wrote the original. They will adapt the sequel from Tom Perrotta’s latest novel of the same name published earlier in the year. Perrotta also wrote the original novel on which the first film was based.
The sequel will see Tracy Flick now working as an assistant principal at a public high school in suburban New Jersey and still fighting to get her way to the top. Witherspoon will reprise her famous role, and Payne will be directing the sequel as an exclusive feature for Paramount+.
Meanwhile, Witherspoon will produce the project with Lauren Neustadter for Hello Sunshine, alongside the original film’s producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa for Bona Fide Productions. Perrotta is executive producing the film.
Payne is still working on his next film, “The Holdovers,” which sees him reteam with “Sideways” actor Paul Giamatti. The 1999 film also starred Matthew Broderick and Chris Klein. There is no word yet if they will be returning to appear in the sequel.
The original “Election” saw Witherspoon as the type-A, over-achieving student Tracy Flick (Witherspoon), who is dedicated to her goal of winning the election for Class President. However, her over-achieving antics drive teacher Jim McCallister mad, as he seeks to hinder her goals of winning the school election, setting up a potential rival to defeat her (Klein).
Payne has been nominated for six Academy Awards over his career. He won his first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the 2004 film “Sideways” in 2005. He won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay again in 2012 for the 2011 film “The Descendents,” which he shared with Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.
Witherspoon has been nominated for Best Actress twice in her career. She took home the Oscar the first time she was nominated in 2006 for her role in “Walk the Line.” Earlier this year, she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the role of Bradley Jackson in “The Morning Show.”
The original “Election” was not a huge hit in theaters but it has achieved cult status since its release, not the least of which was Witherspoon’s memorable performance as Tracy Flick. With that in mind, it makes sense why Paramount would want to revisit the original film, especially with the original writer penning a follow-up to the novel on which the first film was based on. It will also be interesting to check back in with Tracy Flick over twenty years later and potentially other characters from the first film.
“Tracy Flick Can’t Win” will stream later on Paramount+. It does not yet have an official release date.