EXCLUSIVE: We hear that Amazon Studios and Hillman Grad are developing a series based on Neil Paik’s Six by Eight Press short story Reawakening, following a competitive situation for the property. Paik is adapting his story for the screen and will serve as co-executive producer, with executive producers Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani for Hillman Grad. The project falls under Waithe’s overall deal with Amazon Studios.
Reawakening follows a brother and sister who are torn apart by violence. They find themselves on opposite sides of a large-scale conflict between refugees from Earth and the native inhabitants of an utopian planet.
This Paik’s second Six by Eight short story to go into development in recent weeks, his Rainbowfish in the works at Warner Bros. and Macro, which he is also adapting and executive producing for film. Deadline first told you about that project. Paik is set to make his feature directorial debut with The Beautiful Ones which Automatik is attached to produce. His short film The Lost, made in partnership with AT&T and DirecTV, qualified for Oscar consideration in 2018. The Lost won the 2019 Artios Award short film category for Matthew Lessall’s casting.
Paik is repped by Grandview and WME.
Hillman Grad has projects at Netflix, Disney, BET, Showtime, HBO and Amazon. Their diverse slate includes Universal’s Queen & Slim, which Waithe wrote and was directed by Melina Mantzoukas. Their current projects include the Quibi docuseries You Ain’t Got These, the second season of BET’s Boomerang, and BET’s new hit comedy series Twenties, which is loosely based on Waithe’s own life of when she first moved to Los Angeles and follows the adventures of a queer black girl and her two straight best friends who spend most of their days talking s**t and chasing their dreams. Other projects currently in various stages of production: Them: Covenant for Amazon; Untitled Kid Fury Project for HBO; and the Sundance Film Festival 2020 award-winner The 40-Year-Old Version, Radha Blank’s groundbreaking film, which blends real life and fiction to follow its protagonist, a down-on-her luck New York playwright, who decides to reinvent herself and salvage her artistic voice by becoming a rapper at age 40.
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