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Amazon adapts novel, inks talent deals

Amazon has commissioned a drama based on novel The Banker’s Wife, appointed additional creatives for its Lord of the Rings adaptation and signed overall deals with actors Lena Waithe and Connie Britton.

Lena Waithe
(photo: Gage Skidmore)

Based on Cristina Alger’s bestselling novel, The Banker’s Wife will be written by Meredith Stiehm (Homeland), with Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland, Now & Then) directing all eight episodes for the US-based streamer.

The high-stakes thriller is set in the world of global finance and focuses on two women looking for answers after a mysterious plane crash sets them off on parallel pursuits of truth.

Amazon Studios and France’s Federation Entertainment are producing the series for Amazon’s Prime Video global streaming service. Federation’s Pascal Breton is among the executive producers attached to the project.

The announcement was made as part of Amazon’s Television Critics Association presentation yesterday, which also saw the confirmation of a fifth season of sci-fi drama The Expanse, ahead of the December launch of its fourth run, and a second season of fantasy drama Carnival Row.

Four scripted projects are being canned though. Dramas The Romanoffs and Too Old To Die Young have not made it to second seasons, while comedy drama Patriot and comedy Forever have also been axed.

Meanwhile, further creative appointments have been made to the team overseeing the streamer’s multimillion-dollar series adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, following the appointment of JA Bayona as director earlier this month.

Connie Britton
(photo: Jenn Deering Davis)

The team announced today includes executive producers Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire) and Sharon Tal Yguado; writers/executive producers Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), Jason Cahill (The Sopranos) and Justin Doble (Stranger Things); consulting producers Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones) and Stephany Folsom (Toy Story 4); producer Ron Ames (The Aviator); writer/coproducer Helen Shang (Hannibal); and writing consultant Glenise Mullins.

Amazon has also announced a trio of overall deals. Emmy-winning writer, creator, producer and actor Lena Waithe (Master of None) and Friday Night Lights star Connie Britton have each struck agreements that will see them work on original series ideas for the streamer.

The third deal is a first-look pact with US prodco Significant Productions and the company’s co-founders and producing partners, Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) and Nina Yang Bongiovi (Dope). As part of the deal, Significant will work with Amazon Studios to develop series to premiere globally on Amazon Prime Video.

Founded in 2010, projects from Significant so far include feature films, documentaries, television and digital ventures with a focus on emerging talent. Ryan Coogler’s first film as a director, Fruitvale Station, was produced by Whitaker and Yang Bongiovi and released in 2013.



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