Amazon Studios picked up the rights to Tayarisha Poe’s first feature film called “Selah and The Spades.” The company also announced a new original series based off the popular YA teen drama. “Selah and The Spades” stars Lovie Simone, Celeste O’Connor, Jharrel Jerome, Gina Torres, Jesse Williams, Henry Hunter Hall, and Evan Roe. The movie premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and recently screened at BAMcinemaFest. Poe will write, direct and produce the original series, along with Lauren McBride who also produced the film.
In the movie, five factions run the underground life of the prestigious Haldwell Boarding School. At the head of the most powerful faction – The Spades – sits Selah Summers. By turns charming and callous, she chooses whom to keep close and whom to cut loose, walking the fine line between being feared and loved.
Matt Newman, Co-Head of Movies at Amazon Studios said, “Selah and The Spades is a fun and addictive story that immediately draws you in. I’m so excited to bring filmmaker Tayarisha Poe into the Amazon Studios family – she has such a unique and beautiful style of storytelling that young audiences everywhere will fall in love with, just as we have.”
“I’m thrilled that Selah and The Spades has found a home with Amazon Studios, and doubly excited to see the world of The Haldwell School expand and develop in the serial format,” said Poe. “I’d always hoped to work with a company that realized the multi-format potential of this fictional world, and truly we have found the ideal partners with Amazon.”
The series joins several dramas on Prime Video. The studio also streams Amy Sherman-Palladino’s award-winning “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” and “The Man in the High Castle.” Amazon is also showcasing the new fantasy drama “Carnival Row” with Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom at San Diego Comic-Con this year.
In film, Amazon Studios produces and acquires original movies for theatrical release and for streaming exclusively to Amazon Prime members. At the 2017 Academy Awards, Amazon Studios became the first streaming service to win Oscars for “Manchester by the Sea” (Best Screenplay, Kenneth Lonergan and Best Actor, Casey Affleck) and “The Salesman” (Best Foreign Film). At the 2019 Oscars, “Cold War” was nominated for Foreign Language, Director and Cinematography. The 2019 movies include Nisha Ganatra’s “Late Night,” Paul Downs Colaizzo’s “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” Scott Z. Burns’ “The Report,” Alma Har’el’s “Honey Boy,” Tom Harper’s “The Aeronauts,” Benedict Andrews’ “Against All Enemies” and more.
The film was produced by Lauren McBride, Secret Engine’s Lucas Joaquin and Drew Houpt and Argent Pictures’ Jill Ahrens. Executive producers include Argent partners Ryan Ahrens, Ben Renzo, Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Michael Finley, Derrick Brooks, Terence Nance, Jenifer Westphal, Cinereach, Julie Parker Benello, Nancy Stephens Rosenthal, Chaz Ebert and Alex Scharfman. Stephanie DeVaan, David Chan, Kenneth and Elizabeth Whitney and Gottfried and Janet Tittiger are serving as co-executive producers.
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