Netflix has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order to hourlong sci-fi, family drama, Raising Dion, based on commercial and music video director Dennis Liu’s short film about an African-American single mother who discovers her young son has multiple, constantly changing abilities. The project comes from Liu, Creed star Michael B. Jordan, who will have a supporting role, veteran showrunner Carol Barbee (UnReal, Judging Amy), writer-producer Michael Green (American Gods, Logan) and Charles D. King’s MACRO (Fences).
Barbee wrote the adaptation of the Liu-directed Raising Dion short film (you can watch it below), which accompanied the comic book of the same name Liu wrote with illustrations by Jason Piperberg. She will serve as showrunner on the series and will executive produce alongside Liu, who will direct; Jordan, through his Outlier Society Productions; MACRO’s King, Kim Roth and Poppy Hanks; Kenny Goodman; and Green.
Raising Dion, a Netflix production, follows the story of a woman named Nicole Reese, who raises her son Dion after the death of her husband Mark (Jordan). The normal dramas of raising a son as a single mom are amplified when Dion starts to manifest several magical, superhero-like abilities. Nicole must now keep her son’s gifts secret with the help of Mark’s best friend Pat, and protect Dion from antagonists out to exploit him while figuring out the origin of his abilities.
“I started this project many years ago because I wanted to see more diverse representation on film and television and I’m excited to partner with Netflix, who I know shares that commitment,” Liu said. “More than ever, we need more stories told from different points of view and my hope with Raising Dion is to create a cinematic experience for all families that will lift your spirits and make you laugh and cry.”
This marks the first TV series order for MACRO, the multi-platform media company founded in 2015 by former WME partner King with the goal of bringing diverse stories to film and TV. The company just raised an additional $150M in equity and debt financing to produce and finance four to six film and TV projects a year. MACRO recently teamed with Van Jones to produce Indivisible (working title), an hourlong political drama set to begin production in 2018.
“We haven’t seen this type of superhero story before — an origin myth full of imagination, wonder and adventure, all grounded in the experiences of a modern single mother,” said Cindy Holland, VP, Original Content for Netflix. “Michael B. Jordan is an exciting and dynamic talent, and I’m excited to see him, MACRO, Carol and the team translate Dennis’ unique vision to television.”
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