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Wachtel’s Future Shack adapts memoir by Volodymyr Zelensky’s press secretary

Iuliia Mendel at the table with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky

Jeff Wachtel’s Future Shack Entertainment has optioned the rights to a memoir penned by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s press secretary in the lead-up to the Russian invasion.

The Fight of Our Lives, written by Iuliia Mendel, is being adapted as a limited TV series by Future Shack, which officially launched in July.

Former journalist Mendel took the role of press secretary to Zelensky in May 2019. Her book, published last week through Simon & Schuster’s imprint Atria/One Signal, charts some of the key events prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including meetings between Zelensky, Putin and other European leaders and the scandal following phone calls between Donald Trump and Zelensky that resulted in Trump’s first impeachment.

Future Shack Entertainment CEO Wachtel, former president of NBCUniversal’s international TV business, is producing the adaptation alongside in-house producer Jon Cotton, who found the property.

“We are very fortunate to be working with Iuliia Mendel, one of the bravest and most insightful writers working today, a woman who inspires us all by having an impact on the world at a very young age,” said Wachtel.

“Her first-person account of life in Ukraine is heart-wrenching, uplifting and provocative. This is exactly the type of story that Future Shack is dedicated to making.”


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