Maybe Netflix is trying a new approach to representing plus-size characters after the backlash against Insatiable. At least, that’s what we gather from news of the streaming service’s newest acquisition, the Anne Fletcher–directed Dumplin’. The comedy, based on the book by Julie Murphy, will follow Danielle Macdonald’s character Willowdean, the plus-size daughter of a former beauty queen, who, like Insatiable’s protagonist, turns to an unlikely place for empowerment: a small-town beauty pageant. But in the case of Dumplin’, Willowdean’s entry is an act of protest that inspires others to follow in her footsteps, galvanizing a change in her community.
The Dumplin’ soundtrack will feature rerecordings of some of Dolly Parton’s most iconic songs as well as six new originals. Jennifer Aniston, who co-executive produced the film and plays Willowdean’s mother, even whipped out her rarely heard musical chops to sing along with Parton. Other, less surprising musical collaborators include Sia, Miranda Lambert, and Mavis Staples.*
Parton’s music will soon also take off across the pond in 9 to 5: The Musical, a show exclusively featuring music by the country legend that will play in London’s Savoy Theatre starting Jan. 28. Judging by Dumplin’s poster proclaiming, “Go big or go home,” and the promotional video for 9 to 5 below, both of these Parton-inspired productions look to be at once goofy, feminist, nostalgic, and timely.
Correction, Sept. 13: This post originally misspelled Mavis Staples’ last name.