Ava DuVernay has landed a three-year script-to-series commitment from Starz on a romantic drama series with fellow executive producers Lauren Ridloff (Eternals, The Walking Dead) and Joshua Jackson (When They See Us, Dr Death) set to star. The news was announced on Thursday at Starz’s inaugural #TakeTheLead Summit where DuVernay, Ridloff, and Jackson spoke about the project.
The as-yet-untitled prospective series follows two polar opposites who become intertwined in a love affair that turns their worlds – and those of everyone around them – upside down.
The half-hour drama will chronicle what it takes to fall and stay in a radical, rebellious love. One person is ambitious, while the other is restless. One is ready to commit, while the other debates the merits of relationships. One is Black and one is white. One is dead and one is not. Though wildly different, the two are emotionally and physically drawn to each other despite personal expectations and public assumptions. Their attraction passionately disrupts notions of race, gender, class, physical ability, and normative culture, elevating to true love that surpasses difference.
Ridloff and Jackson previously starred opposite each other in Broadway’s Children of a Lesser God.
Kathryn Busby, President, Original Programming, Starz, who moderated the Summit conversation with the trio, said, “There is nothing like this series on TV and we are thrilled to be in development with Ava, a trailblazer and unparalleled champion of diversity. Lauren is a true inspiration and together with Joshua, a brilliant veteran actor, they will bring their incredible talents to this project – both in front of and behind the camera. This series exemplifies our #TakeTheLead mission, and we couldn’t be prouder.”
DuVernay will oversee the writing for the series through her Peabody Award-winning narrative change collective Array Filmworks and its overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. Array Filmworks and Warner Bros. Television will produce the project for Starz. The series will be overseen by Senior Vice President of Original Programming, Kathryn Tyus-Adair, on behalf of Starz.
“On behalf of my producing partner Paul Garnes and everyone at Array Filmworks, I’m thrilled to develop this passion project with Lauren, Josh, and Kat,” said DuVernay. “Starz and Warner Bros. Television have made a bold production commitment to immediately explore three seasons, and we’re revved up and ready to begin what I hope will be a beautiful journey for all involved.”