Pulse Films to Adapt the Bestseller Underbelly


Pulse Films has acquired the rights to Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson’s debut fiction novel Underbelly.

Underbelly centers on two mothers—a middle-class woman who appears perfectly polished on Instagram and another who is just barely surviving on a telemarketing job—who are catapulted into each other’s lives when they meet at the school gates. The novel uncovers the filtered surface of modern women’s lives to expose the truth beneath.

Whitehouse and Farquharson, the wife-and-husband pair who have also penned the best-selling nonfiction pieces Parenting the Sh*t Out of Life and Where’s My Happy Ending?, will adapt the story for the screen.

Whitehouse said: “At a time when the world—online and offline—feels so fragmented, Underbelly delves into the complexity of motherhood under the glare of a smartphone. We wanted to bring to life the daily conflict mothers navigate. Whether ‘stay-at-home’ (no parent stays at home) or ‘work-away,’ it feels like we’re being pulled apart searching for something for ourselves and everything for our kids. Throw in social media and it’s a recipe for comparison, competitiveness and combustion. It’s a pixelated world where canceling a human online can delete them offline, too. But really, we wanted to strip all that back and see two women, Lo and Dylan, navigating the paradox of motherhood. The soaring highs (little hands slipping into yours) and the crushing lows (debilitating postnatal depression). We are delighted Pulse instantly picked up on the fact this isn’t another series about ‘working mums.’ It digs beneath the skin of motherhood and goes deep into the underbelly of the internet. It’s raw, visceral and darkly comedic. It’s parenthood in 2021.”

Farquharson added: “It is a pleasure to be working with such a talented and inspiring team with such a great track record. From the first page of the book, we had a clear idea of who Lo and Dylan were and it’s a privilege to have the chance to bring them to the screen.”

Thomas Benski, CEO of Pulse Films, said: “Anna and Matt’s work speaks to a new generation of women, as they approach topics with a devastating sense of humor, true authenticity and a warm heart. We are thrilled to be able to bring their outstanding fiction debut to the screen, as they continue to expand their repertoire of work. Underbelly is a prime example of the perspective we wish to share, as we continue to amplify unique voices in storytelling.”

Nicola Larder, executive producer of drama at Pulse Films, added: “Anna and I connected on an emotional level immediately, as I slid into her DMs! We are both ambitious women, juggling young children and trying our best to not drop the ball. This drama adaptation will explore the eviscerating detail of what parenthood gives you as a woman and also what it takes away. It also works on other levels, exploring a female friendship that simply wouldn’t exist were it not for their kids becoming friends. Beyond that it is about lives lived online: what happens when you put everything out there to monetize and then it all becomes too much when your dopamine-inducing followers don’t buy your narrative anymore?”