EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment has forged a production partnership with The Vampire Diaries alum Paul Wesley and his company Citizen Media.
The first two series projects Kapital and Citizen are rolling out together are a drama based on Jason Smith’s non-fiction article Confessions Of a Drug-Addicted High School Teacher, with Wesley attached to star and David Slade (Black Mirror) to direct, and supernatural crime drama Possessed, based on a Korean format.
Under the pact, Kapital will work with Wesley to build his company and its footprint in the market. The Kapital team and Wesley will jointly develop content for Wesley to produce. It will be aimed at broadcast, cable and streaming. Some — but not all — of the projects will be intended as starring vehicles for Wesley who recently co-starred on Kapital’s CBS All Access series Tell Me a Story.
“Paul and I found ourselves aligned in the kinds of stories we wanted to tell and in synch in how we wanted to share them,” Kaplan said. “I am so excited that Paul trusted Kapital to work with Citizen Media to develop and produce great content.”
Confessions Of a Drug-Addicted High School Teacher was one of the first projects Wesley put in development when he launched Citizen Media in 2016 with a deal at Warner Bros. TV. Smith’s article chronicles his two-year stint teaching public high school in northern California. Despite teaching while anesthetized by a heavy dose of prescription narcotics, Jason finds that his brokenness from addiction begins attracting broken students, and in a town obsessed with high school football, he’s not alone in his obsession to escape from himself.
Kapital is executive producing with Wesley, who will star, his former producing partner Bob Levy. as well as Slade, who will direct.
Based on the 2009 Korean series from MBC, Possessed centers on high school girl Ha-na who is always the first to come out and protect her introverted twin sister Doo-na. After Doo-na passes away in a fire, Ha-na finds that her body no longer completely belongs to herself. Doo-na’s angry spirit now lives in Ha-na, giving her special powers and monstrous strength. Genius criminal psychologist Shin Ryu is an expert profiler who is determined to see justice served. When he learns about Ha-na’s abilities, he uses her powers to eliminate criminals that are above the law, and to plan his revenge on the man who helped his family’s killer go free. (You can watch a trailer for the original series below.)
Craig Plestic (The Masked Singer) is executive producing Possessed alongside Kapital and Citizen Media.
This is the latest producing partnership for Kapital, which also has deals with directors Victor Gonzalez and David Semel.
“I’ve admired the work that Aaron and Kapital have been doing, and I’m very excited to team up with them to create content we can be proud of,” Wesley said.
Over the last few years, Wesley’s production company, Citizen Media, has set up multiple series projects for development at various networks and studios including ABC, Fox 21 TV TV Studios, Warner Bros TV/Warner Horizon and Freeform.
Wesley starred on The Vampire Diaries for eight seasons, directed multiple episodes throughout the series’ run, and served as a producer for the 8th and final season.
He recently appeared in Netflix’s docu-drama Medal Of Honor produced by Robert Zemeckis and Jack Rapke. He also did two off Broadway theater productions in 2018. Behind the camera, last year he directed episodes of Roswell, New Mexico and Legacies.
Wesley is repped by ICM, Management 360, and attorney Marcy Morris. Slade is with UTA. MBC is repped by Paradigm.
Kaplan currently has 11 series on the air, 10 of them through Kapital.
Possessed Trailer from MVSEUM on Vimeo.
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