EXCLUSIVE: A year after setting sail with an inventive business plan in which Truly*Adventurous digitally generates a longform, magazine-quality article every three weeks through a partnership with Medium and Audm, the company has put in play 15 film and TV projects they will produce, some with major elements attached.
Amazon Studios acquired and attached The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan to Pillars of Fire, an article by Nathan Masters on the country’s first U.S. police woman who goes undercover to infiltrate a female-led cult. Truly*Adventurous are out to screenwriters;
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Paramount TV acquired The Red Flag, a proposed TV series that was an internally generated reported narrative about a band of escaped slaves and renegade American Indians who took over an abandoned British fort in Florida;
Endeavor Content acquired The Captain, and set Aaron Covington to write and Gerard McMurray to direct for Studio 2043 a feature based an article by Pearl about the country’s first black police captain in New Orleans in the early 1870s;
Paramount Pictures and Temple Hill acquired Exorcisms of Emma, an article by Pearl that is being eyed for features, about a woman who underwent exorcisms by the same Catholic priest over 30 years;
Berlanti Entertainment attached and set Carly Wray (Mad Men and Westworld) to write a feature based on Secrets & Wives, about ex-gangster Henry Hill and the secret marriage he entered into while in the witness protection program, post Goodfellas. Nichols and Pearl wrote that together, as the first article generated by Truly*Adventurous;
ABC Productions acquired The Revenge of Anne & Mary (with Any Given Sunday producer Jonathan Krauss). Rebecca Simon wrote the article, about two infamous female pirates who were also lovers.
House of Lost Souls has been set with Blumhouse. Written by Patrick McCullough, it’s the story of a doctor who moved into a house he believed to be haunted, and sold tickets. Bad things happen;
Josephine’s War is being adapted by Kat Blasband Page (upcoming series Shattered Glass), on the Dr. Hanna Diamond article about Josephine Baker, the jazz age entertainer who became a spy for the French Resistance. Sugar 23 is attached to produce with Truly*Adventurous.
Nichols and Pearl are vets of the book and magazine business, including writing long pieces for Vanity Fair and Men’s Journal, and they found a business opportunity in what they saw as a seam in the marketplace at a time when fact-based stories are so coveted for films and TV shows.
The company is in the middle of a raising funds and entertaining conversations for a first look at studios, and they’ve just named Jon Housman as interim COO to help develop these strategic partnerships.
“The way true-story IP is typically created and converted into film and TV projects is really inefficient,” said Nichols. “There’s this trickle-down system where Hollywood has to wait for true-story content to fall from the sky, read made. A lot of it comes up short on the storytelling front, and it is invariably created in a black box with no Hollywood buy-in. We think we can do better.”
In concert with their manager Pouya Shahbazian, the duo options the articles, with the journalists sharing in the proceeds. They do that with a legal team headed by JR McGinnis.
A lot of the articles are internally generated and matched with established longform journalists, and some come from writers themselves. They said the first goal is to create strong stories. All the writers get paid to write the piece, and they share in the revenue when the projects get monetized in Hollywood deals.
“We believe that so many incredible true stories get overlooked in magazines because of an adherence to a news cycle,” Pearl said. “Our mission is to tell great true stories, whether they happened yesterday or 100 years ago.”
The next Truly*Adventurous story gets published today. Titled The Bout by Cary Clack, it is the untold story of the first interracial boxing match in Texas.
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