Amazon Studios has given the green light to drama series The Expatriates based on Janice Y.K. Lee’s novel from Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films, for premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. This marks the first project under Kidman’s first-look deal with Amazon Studios, inked last month, to get a green light.
Screenwriter Alice Bell (The Beautiful Lie) is attached to pen the adaptation. Kidman’s Blossom Films optioned the rights to the book in February 2017, with Bell attached as writer and a potential role for Kidman to star.
“After announcing our recent first look deal with Nicole and Blossom Films, we are thrilled to kick off this relationship by bringing this very popular novel from author Janice Y.K. Lee to Prime Video,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “The story weaves an addictive tapestry that follows a group of complex women and their lives as outsiders in Hong Kong. It’s a compelling exploration of the strength of these women as they persevere through struggles with marriage, career, parenting and unimaginable loss.”
Set against the sensational backdrop of “The Vertical City” of Hong Kong, The Expatriates is a drama series that explores the vibrant lives of a close-knit expatriate community: where affluence is celebrated, friendships are intense but knowingly temporary, and personal lives, deaths and marriages are played out publicly—then retold with glee. There’s Margaret, a world-renowned American architect struggling with the unwavering suspicion that something could be wrong with her latest project – an ambitious skyscraper already gracing the Hong Kong skyline – until an unexpected event upends her life; Mercy, a Korean-American college graduate with a questionable past seeking a new life, who quickly finds herself embroiled in an unforgivable scandal; Hilary, a British expat who yearns for a child despite her uncertain marriage, then dabbles in local customs and make-believe identities in a deliberate attempt to change her fate; Tammy, a high-flying alpha-expat who is blindsided when her husband’s Chinese second family appears on her doorstep; Barbara, whose decadent lifestyle belies a ticking clock; Franny, an Australian expat loyal to anyone she’s having lunch with, who faces an existential crisis; and Olivia, a Chinese local socialite who experiences a humiliating loss of status. This is a delicious world of unusual alliances, heartfelt truths and mystifying superstitions; a place where fortunes are made and lost, families sundered and brought together, identities made and then remade in pursuit of an extraordinary life.
The series is executive produced by Kidman and Per Saari for Blossom Films and Theresa Park for POW! Productions, with Lee serving as Consulting Producer.
“I’m so thrilled about the Blossom-Amazon collaboration,” said Kidman. “The Expatriates is just the beginning of our shared goal in making delicious stories with something meaningful to say about the world.”
Blossom Films, created by Kidman and Per Saari, executive-produces the Emmy-winning series Big Little Lies for HBO, now filming its second season, directed by Andrea Arnold.
Among Blossom’s development titles is an adaptation of off-Broadway vampire hit Cuddles. With their Big Little Lies co-producers Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea, Blossom Films is also adapting Liane Moriarty’s novel Truly Madly Guilty into a limited series. Blossom’s next project is David E. Kelley’s limited series The Undoing for HBO, which will go into production in 2019 and star Kidman.