Books

St. John's writer Bridget Canning to have novel, The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes, adapted into film

Production on Wanda Woman will begin in 2022 in Newfoundland.

Production on Wanda Woman will begin in 2022 in Newfoundland

The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes is a novel by Bridget Canning. (Ritchie Perez, Breakwater Books)

Newfoundland writer Bridget Canning's debut novel The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes is being adapted into a film.

The project is being produced by Marina Cordoni Entertainment and Rink Rat Productions, developed with the support of The Harold Greenberg Fund and the Canadian Media Fund. Gia Milani has signed on to direct.

The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes is a dark comedy about a teacher named Wanda. Wanda's personal and professional life are in turmoil: she's about to lose her job and believes her boyfriend is having an affair. But when a shooter opens fire when Wanda is at the grocery store, her life changes forever.

The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes was first published in 2017 and was a finalist for the BMO Winterset Award, which recognizes the best books by writers from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Canning told CBC in 2017 that the novel was inspired by discussing a threat of a mass shooting in St. John's on Facebook.

"There was a lot of talk about social media, and there was a lot of talk about the ways that people on social media throw around horrible statements, say threatening things," she said. 

"It got me thinking, what if something like that happened here? Why wouldn't it happen here?"

Canning is also the author of the 2020 novel Some People's Children. She is also an occasional contributor for CBC Newfoundland and Labrador.

"I am thrilled to bits to be working with Marina, Mary and Gia! It is a dream come true to adapt my first novel for the big screen, let alone with such an amazing team of visionaries. I feel like I won the lottery." Canning said in an email.

The film will be called Wanda Woman

"When I read Bridget Canning's book, I could see the movie. Wanda is an everyday woman who becomes a hero by chance and we get to take her journey with visionary filmmaker Gia Milani. I am so excited to work with this all-female filmmaking team, alongside accomplished producer Mary Sexton as a producing partner," producer Marina Cordoni said in a press release.

Cordoni is working on other Canadian novel adaptations, including Dennis Bock's novel Going Home Again.

Production on Wanda Woman will begin in 2022 in Newfoundland.

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