EXCLUSIVE: Showtime has put in development Jumpmen, a sneaker industry drama from writer Shaye Ogbonna (God’s Country). Justin Hillian (The Chi, Snowfall) is overseeing the project as part of his overall deal with Showtime, and producing along with 3 Arts.
Created and executive produced by Ogbonna, Jumpmen is a high-energy insider drama about the cutthroat world of the sneaker industry, centering on a self-made sneaker exec turned industry power broker. As the business changes around him, and old friends become adversaries, he must decide what’s more important-industry capital or cultural relevance.
Ogbonna co-wrote the screen adaptation for thriller God’s Country with Julian Higgins. Based on James Lee Burke’s short story Winter’s Light and directed by Higgins, the film is slated to make its world premiere at the virtual Sundance Film Festival this Sunday, Jan. 23. Starring Thandiwe Newton, God’s Country follows a grieving college professor as she confronts two hunters she catches trespassing on her property and is drawn into an escalating battle of wills with catastrophic consequences.
Ogbonna’s 2017 feature debut Lowlife opened the Fantasia Film Festival and became a darling of the genre festival circuit, culminating in its acquisition and worldwide distribution through IFC Midnight.
The project marks a reunion for Ogbonna and Hillian who worked together on Showtime’s The Chi, Ogbonna as an executive story editor, and Hillian as showrunner.
Ogbonna will next be writing for Duster, JJ Abrams’ 1970’s crime thriller for HBO Max. Starring Josh Holloway, the series follows a getaway driver for a growing crime syndicate as his situation gets progressively more dangerous.
Hillian has served as showrunner on The Chi since the beginning of the third season. He earned a Black Reel Awards nomination for Outstanding Writing, Drama Series for his work on Snowfall. His other television credits include I’m Dying Up Here and Superstore.
Ogbonna is repped by Verve, 3 Arts, and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis.
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