Given her sterling work in both A Quiet Place films, it was only natural that Millicent Simmonds would land other jobs. She’s now on to star alongside The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s Rachel Brosnahan in Helen & Teacher, which focuses on blind and deaf author/activist Helen Keller.

Keller’s story has been brought to the screen a few times before, but this promises a slightly different angle. Still Alice co-director Wash Westmoreland wrote the script with Laetitia Mikles, working in consultation with a team at the Helen Keller National Center for Youth and Adults. But far from promising another hagiography, it’ll tell a real story of conflict from her life.

Set during the early 1900s, the plot follows Keller’s tumultuous time at Harvard’s Radcliffe College, when her rapidly expanding worldview and sexual awakening brings her into direct conflict with the conservative Anne Sullivan (Brosnahan). When Sullivan is courted by the young and brilliant publisher, John Macy, tensions escalate between the two women that threaten the bonds of their friendship. Fun fact: Simmonds is a distant cousin of Keller.

“Most people only know of Helen Keller’s story from when she was a child. Helen & Teacher will look at her as a young adult when she developed a radical, world-changing political voice,” says Westmoreland. “Today, when some TikTok threads dispute Helen Keller’s achievements and even her existence, it is time for a film that shows her relevance, her brilliance, and her unbreakable spirit.” The cameras should be rolling next summer.

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