Tessa Thompson speaking at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con International, for "Westworld", at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California / Gage Skidmore

The recently published debut short story collection by writer Deesha Philyaw, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, has already been met with critical acclaim and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. Now Hollywood has come calling for the author, as Tessa Thompson (Westworld, Sylvies Love) and her newly formed production company have optioned it for a film project. The book features nine stories that explore Black women’s lives in the Church and how faith and desire intersect when those desires fall outside of that world’s traditionally sexually conservative views. It’s currently unknown if Thompson will act solely as executive producer or will also star in the project, as no cast has been announced. But with nine stories to be told, this could turn into an all-star project, so we’ll be watching for updates (Photo: Gage Skidmore).