Frances McDormand Casts Herself in a Producing Role

Oscar-winning actress brings “Olive Kitteridge” to HBO, sets Diane Lane to star in “Every Secret Thing”

Oscar winner Frances McDormand has been a busy bee lately, working behind the scenes as a producer to set up two high-profile projects, according to Deadline.

McDormand is behind a potential small screen adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Olive Kitteridge" that is set up at HBO. The book is comprised of 13 interconnected tales that involve the residents of a fishing village in Maine. Her deal is still being negotiated but she's attached to play the town's titular 7th-grade math teacher if the pilot goes to series.

Jane Anderson (HBO's "Normal") is shaping an ensemble drama out of Strout's stories, which should allow McDormand time to play the title character and honor her other acting obligations.

McDormand will exec produce the show, while Strout will serve as a consulting producer.

Additionally, McDormand will produce a big-screen adaptation of Laura Lippman's crime novel "Every Secret Thing," which Nicole Holofcener ("Please Give") has written and already turned in, though there's no director or studio attached to the project at this point.

Oscar-nominated actress Diane Lane is attached to star as a detective investigating the mysterious disappearance of several children.

"Every Secret Thing" follows two pre-teenage girls who are sent home early from a birthday party for behaving badly. As they head home, they happen upon a baby in a carriage who later turns up dead. The girls are incarcerated for seven years and once they're released, other children begin to go missing.

McDormand has brought on Anthony Bregman as her producing partner, having worked with him on Holofcener's "Friends With Money."

The "Almost Famous" star has been using her own money to option the books (she nabbed "Olive Kitteridge" before it won the Pulitzer last year) and though her producing venture has no name or staff, she's also planning to produce a stage musical.

Personally, I'd like to see McDormand reprise her Oscar-winning role as Marge Gunderson in another "Fargo"-esque crime thriller, but I doubt that the Coen brothers (McDormand is married to Joel) are looking to revisit that character, though questions remain as to what happened to that buried briefcase full of ransom money.

McDormand is currently filming Michael Bay's "Transformers 3," and will segue from that blockbuster to Paolo Sorrentino's thriller "This Must Be the Place," which stars Sean Penn.

McDormand will kick off 2011 with rehearsals for the Broadway-bound production of David Lindsay Abaire's play "Good People," which opens on March 3. McDormand will play a struggling South Boston woman who feels liberated after reconnecting with her former boyfriend who escaped the neighborhood and made his fortune in a dubious manner.

She is represented by WME and D/F Management.