EXCLUSIVE: Amblin Partners has acquired rights to the Truly*Adventurous article “The Richest Black Girl in America,” penned by Lauren Henley, and has tapped Azia Squire to adapt it into a feature script.
Squire will use the article as well of thousands of pages of archival documents to help with research on the true story of Sarah Rector, an 11-year-old Black girl in Jim Crow America, who is given reparations in the form of uninhabitable land by the U.S. government. After oil reservoirs are discovered beneath her land, Sarah almost immediately becomes one of the wealthiest people in America. But the government intervenes, once again, to insist that white conservators manage her finances for her. Remarkably, even with the deck stacked against her, teenage Sarah learns to outwit the system and take back what she’s owed.
Matthew Pearl and Charlie Wachtel will produce the film with Greg Nichols and David Rabinowitz exec producing. Jeb Brody, Amblin’s President of Production, and Mia Maniscalco, SVP Creative Affairs, will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.
Squire is a rising star in the writer ranks, recently landing a staff job on the upcoming season of Netflix and Shondaland’s hit series Bridgerton. Previously, she was staffed on Bloom & Sons for Netflix with the Obamas’ Higher Ground producing; The First Lady for Showtime and Lionsgate TV with Michelle Pfeiffer starring, Viola Davis starring and producing; and Boomerang for Paramount TV and BET with Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad producing.
On the film side, she recently adapted the New York Times bestseller Amari and the Night Brothers for Universal with Mandeville as well writing Return of the Rocketeer for Disney with Mortal Media and TaylorMade producing.
Henley is an assistant professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. She writes about Black life in the early 20th century. Truly*Adventurous is a digital magazine and innovative content IP laboratory, researching, developing and publishing amazing true stories across a variety of genres. In its first two years, Truly*Adventurous has set up more than 20 projects with partners such as Blumhouse, Netflix, Berlanti, Focus Features, WBTV, ABC Studios, Amazon, Paramount and Sony.
Squire is represented by UTA, Writ Large and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson. Truly*Adventurous is represented by Pouya Shahbazian of New Leaf Literary and J.R. McGinnis of Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson.
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