Ellen DeGeneres’ Nancy Drew film starring IT’s Sophia Lillis unveils first-look image

Warner Bros has begun production on Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, an upcoming mystery film centred on the well-known titular character, in Georgia, US.

To commemorate the start of filming, the studio has also unveiled a first-look at the movie featuring Sophia Lillis, who recently rose to fame playing Beverly Marsh in the hugely popular horror movie IT. The 16-year-old appears in the candid shot as teenage, amateur detective Drew.


In it, she can be seen wearing ripped, faded black jeans, a pink vest top, unbuttoned blue shirt and a loose choker necklace as she chats to director Katt Shea and co-star Zoe Renee – who plays Drew’s best friend George Fayne in the movie. While it’s not 100% clear whether both Lillis and Renee are in costume, they seem to be standing in a school corridor so chances are, this is a shot of them during a shoot.

Ellen DeGeneres and Jeff Kleeman are co-producing the movie via their company A Very Good Production. Chip Diggins (Equals) is also producing, while Wendy Williams (The Chronicles of Riddick) is acting as executive producer.

Adapted from the similarly-titled novel written by Mildred Wirt Benson, the film will “smart high-schooler with a penchant for keen observation and destruction” Drew investigate the rumours of a nearby haunted house. Along with her friends, she attempts to solve the mystery behind the spooky goings-on and come to grips with her new surroundings, as well as make new acquaintances and a name for herself within the community.


Ellen DeGeneres is co-producing (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Aside from Renee and Lillis, other actors involved in the project include Rings‘ Laura Wiggins, Modern Family‘s Andrea Anders and True Blood‘s Sam Trammell. Newcomer Mackenzie Graham joins the cast as Drew’s other best friend Bess Marvin.

While the film is yet to secure an official release date, it is expected to reach cinemas sometime in 2019.

This isn’t the first time Drew has been portrayed on the big screen. In fact, black-and-white movie star Bonita Granville played her in an adaptation of ‘Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase’ back in 1939. Granville brought her to life a further three times but much more recently, American Horror Story star Emma Roberts has created her own version onscreen.

Just a few months back, US television network NBC announced that it is developing a series that sees an older Drew as an author of a teenage detective series who gets embroiled in a real murder mystery.