Tracy Flick Can't Win movie: cast, plot and everything we know about the Election sequel

Reese Witherspoon in Election
Reese Witherspoon in Election (Image credit: Paramount Pictures/United Archives GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)

Election is a favorite among many movie lovers, serving as a breakout for Reese Witherspoon and writer/director Alexander Payne. Well, more than 20 years later, the two are reuniting for an Election sequel, Tracy Flick Can't Win.

Set to be a Paramount Plus original movie, Tracy Flick Can't Win is based on Election author Tom Perrotta's follow-up novel, also titled Track Flick Can't Win (opens in new tab), that was published in 2022. The story picks up with Tracy Flick in adulthood.

Here is everything that we know about Tracy Flick Can't Win.

Tracy Flick Can't Win release date 

A release date for Tracy Flick Can't Win hasn't been set. The movie was announced in December 2022, so the earliest that it could likely be done is fall 2023.

Whenever it comes out, it is slated to premiere exclusively on Paramount Plus.

Tracy Flick Can't Win plot 

Tracy Flick was the overachieving, aspiring student-body president in the original Election story, however, things haven't worked out quite like she hoped when she was a teenager. Here is the synopsis for Perotta's book:

"Tracy Flick is a hardworking assistant principal at a public high school in suburban New Jersey. Still ambitious but feeling a little stuck and underappreciated in midlife, Tracy gets a jolt of good news when the longtime principal, Jack Weede, abruptly announces his retirement, creating a rare opportunity for Tracy to ascend to the top job.

"Energized by the prospect of her long-overdue promotion, Tracy throws herself into her work with renewed zeal, determined to prove her worth to the students, faculty and School Board, while also managing her personal life — a 10-year-old daughter, a needy doctor boyfriend and a burgeoning meditation practice.

"But nothing ever comes easily to Tracy Flick, no matter how diligent or qualified she happens to be. Her male colleagues' determination to honor Vito Falcone — a star quarterback of dubious character who had a brief, undistinguished career in the NFL — triggers memories for Tracy and leads her to reflect on the trajectory of her own life. As she considers the past, Tracy becomes aware of storm clouds brewing in the present. Is she really a shoo-in for the principal job? Is the Superintendent plotting against her? Why is the School Board President's wife trying so hard to be her friend? And why can't she ever get what she deserves?"

Tracy Flick Can't Win cast 

Reese Witherspoon is coming back to play Tracy Flick, one of her signature roles. Witherspoon has of course gone on to become an Oscar-winning actress (Walk the Line), with a number of memorable performances in movies like Legally Blonde (a role she is also reprising with Legally Blonde 3), Wild, Sing, Big Little Lies and The Morning Show. Upcoming, she has the Netflix movie Your Place or Mine.

Witherspoon has also become a prolific producer, and is set to serve in that role with Tracy Flick Can't Win.

No other Tracy Flick Can't Win cast members have been announced at this time.

Tracy Flick Can't Win trailer 

We're probably a long way from a Tracy Flick Can't Win trailer coming out. But when one does, we'll share it right here. 

Alexander Payne movies

Alexander Payne is set to write (with Jim Taylor) and direct Tracy Flick Can't Win, just as he did with Election. Payne is an Oscar winner known for making intimate dramedies. Tracy Flick Can't Win is his first movie since 2017. Here is a list of the movies that he has directed throughout his career: 

  • The Passion of Martin (1991)
  • Citizen Ruth (1996)
  • Election (1999)
  • About Schmidt (2002)
  • Sideways (2004)
  • Paris, je t’aime (2006)
  • The Descendants (2011)
  • Nebraska (2013)
  • Downsizing (2017)

How to watch Election

While we wait for Tracy Flick Can't Win, you can watch Election right now on Prime Video in the US and Paramount Plus in the UK. It's also available through digital on-demand. 

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).