EXCLUSIVE: Willow Smith’s MSFTS Production and Cartel Entertainment are partnering on a pair of female-led projects. The two have acquired the film rights to Alwyn Hamilton’s YA trilogy Rebel Of The Sands, and will also develop Menencholy, an animated series based on Smith’s original book proposal.
The former, a potential starring vehicle for Smith, follows 17-year-old Amani as she flees her hometown of Dustwalk on a dangerous journey through the desert nation of Miraji, where mortals rule, but mythical beasts still roam the wild. The novel was published last year via Viking Young Readers and the its sequel, Traitor To The Throne, was released March 7.
Menencholy centers on the epic journey of a young girl named Menen-Nin Khali with a gift that allows her to see into her past life. She eventually finds herself at a mystical place called The Mystery School, where we follow her as she goes through a metamorphosis. In time Menen begins to accept the true power that lies within her and uses it to save herself and her town.
“The nonphysical, creative and, wild nature of a female heroine’s journey calls for a unique narrative structure that permeates the very foundation of the story. Enjoy the ride!” Smith says.
Repped by Westbrook Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern, Smith will produce Rebel alongside her manager Miguel Melendez and Cartel’s Stan Spry, Jeff Holland, and Claire Abramowitz of Cartel. Smith and Melendez will exec produce Menencholy with Spry, Abramowitz, and Bradford Bricken.
Cartel’s upcoming projects include YA romance The Distance From Me To You with Michael De Luca, Jack Daniels drama series Blood & Whiskey from Aaron Paul, and Blink-182 co-founder Tom Delonge’s directorial debut pic Strange Times.