Assemble Media has set Zelda Williams, the daughter of the comedy icon Robin Williams, to make her feature directorial debut with AMA (Ask Me Anything), a 2018 Blacklist script by John Wikstrom that weaves dark celebrity secrets and the dangers of the digital age together into a cat-and-mouse thriller.
The premise: An online interview session with a fast-rising entertainment publicist and a music superstar is widely publicized as a candid “ask me anything” opportunity but a mysterious hacker hijacks the forum and systematically dismantles the privacy of the participants by revealing lurid secrets hidden from their past.
Assemble Media principal Jack Heller will produce. “We are thrilled to be working with Zelda on her feature directing debut,” Heller said. “She is an incredible talent who will bring her passionate, thoughtful and highly visual style to the material.”
Zelda Williams is the 29-year-old daughter of the late Robin Williams and his second wife, Marsha Williams. “I’m honored that the team at Assemble saw in me the potential to help bring John Wikstrom’s dark Hollywood cautionary tale to the screen,” she said in a statement. “For me, this project encompasses so many of my cinematic loves and I can’t think of a more timely moment for it.”
Her short film Shrimp premiered at the 2018 Tribeca TV Festival with a glimpse into the world of sadomasochism and professional dominatrixes in Los Angeles. The short featured cameos by Frances Fisher (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) and Sasha Lane (American Honey) as well as filmmaker Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok). Gunpowder and Sky inked a deal with Williams in November to develop Shrimp as a half-hour TV series that would be written, directed and produced by Williams, who would star as well.
With AMA (Ask Me Anything), Williams will be working off the Wikstrom script that made the 2018 Blacklist and also earned its author a spot on Tracking Board’s “Young and Hungry” list of 100 writers to watch in 2019. Wikstrom directs commercials, too, and earned some online notoriety with two viral shorts, Player Two and But You Didn’t.
Rock Shaink and Dash Aiken of Romark Entertainment will executive produce alongside Brendan Deneen, Assemble’s President of Literary and IP Development. Scott Veltri, Assemble’s President of Production and Development, will produce with Heller.
Josh Sandler of Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers, LLP represented Assemble in the deals. Wikstrom is represented by Romark, Good Fear, Verve, and Will Jacobson at Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman, LLP. Williams is represented by Gersh, manager Melinda Jason, and lawyer Roger Armstrong.
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