HP Alum Wright Returns to Screenwriting

Doug Wright is more known for his writing for the stage than for the screen. After more than two decades, he returns to the movies with The Burial, which begins streaming this weekend on Amazon.

Wright, who graduated from Highland Park High School in 1981 before earning degrees from Yale and NYU, is perhaps best known for the 2003 Broadway play I Am My Own Wife, for which he was recognized with a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The Burial is a crowd-pleaser starring Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones in a true-life story of a Mississippi funeral home entrepreneur and a brash attorney teaming up for an underdog legal fight against a billionaire trying to put him out of business.

The film has garnered positive reviews ahead of its streaming debut. Wright and director Maggie Betts (Novitiate) adapted the screenplay from a 1999 New Yorker article by novelist Jonathan Harr.

His only previous screenplay credit was for the 2000 period drama Quills, adapted from his own stage play. He was honored with a Golden Globe nomination for that film.

Wright is currently working on a script entitled Fever, a biopic of singer Peggy Lee that’s being developed by director Todd Haynes (Carol) with Michelle Williams attached to star.

Also opening this weekend via streaming platforms is In the Fire, a psychological thriller from director Conor Allyn (No Man’s Land), a Preston Hollow native and Jesuit Dallas alum.

Set in the late 1800s, the film follows a New York doctor (Amber Heard) who travels to a remote Colombian plantation to care for a disturbed boy with mysterious abilities. In the process, she ignites a war of science versus religion with the local priest (Eduardo Noriega) who believes the boy is possessed.

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