EXCLUSIVE: The Help helmer Tate Taylor and partner John Norris have gotten help for their Wyolah Films banner, hiring producer Jacob Jaffke to be Head of Development & Production for Film & Television. This comes as Taylor is in post production on his adaptation of the Paula Hawkins bestselling thriller novel Girl On The Train, which Wykolah Films produced. Jaffke, whose credits include In a Valley of Violence, Sleepwalk with Me and The Sacrament, will work closely with Taylor and Norris to develop and produce film & television projects of all genres and sizes and the company. The goal is to find more projects for Taylor to write, direct, and produce, in the area of elevated, character driven fare that has stamped The Help and Get On Up.
“John and I are thrilled to have Jacob as part of the team,” Taylor said. “His reputation as both a hands on nuts and bolts producer and as a creative makes him a great asset to our company as we continue to expand and grow Wyolah Films. His sensibility, instincts, and experience will prove invaluable as we continue to enrich our slate and forge new relationships with filmmakers looking for
collaborative and supportive producing partners with a proven track record.”
The company is percolating the true life underdog story, Versailles ‘73, which is centered around the famous 1973 fashion show and fundraiser held at the Palace of Versailles in which five relatively unknown American designers squared off against five internationally renowned French designers in an effort to raise funds to restore the palace. Blacklist screenwriter Richard Cordiner (he wrote the making of Jaws script The Shark is Not Working) wrote the script and Taylor is attached to direct. Other projects in development include a remake of In the Heat of the Night that Wyolah is developing with Fargo producer and former NBC honcho Warren Littlefield and MGM TV for Showtime; and an adaptation of the Bob Kealing book Tupperware Unsealed for Sony that has Sandra Bullock attached to star. Before joining Wyolah, Jaffke ran development for Narcos exec producer Eric Newman’s Studiocanal-backed Grand Electric. There, Jaffke supervised the development of nearly two dozen projects including Life & Death in Eden penned by 2014 Black List screenwriter Kristina Anderson (Catherine the Great) and an adaptation of Robert Scheckley’s short story Prize of Peril by UK writer Will Bridges.
Jaffke’s most recent film as a producer, the Ethan Hawk-John Travolta-starrer In a Valley of Violence, opened at SXSW and marked his fourth collaboration with filmmaker Ti West. Focus World will release it later this year. He is a consulting producer on the Mike Birbiglia-directed Don’t Think Twice, his third collaboration with Birbiglia. That film also debuted at SXSW.