EXCLUSIVE: HBO is developing Sula, a limited series based on the novel by Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison’s novel. The project comes from writer Shannon M. Houston (Station Eleven), who has an overall deal at HBO, and Stephanie Allain’s Homegrown Pictures, under the company’s first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television Group and HBO.
Created and written by Houston based on the novel, Sula tracks the lives of two Black heroines from their close-knit childhood in a small Ohio neighborhood called The Bottom, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood. Nel Wright has chosen to marry, raise a family and become a pillar of the Black community. Sula Peace has rejected the life Nel has embraced, escaping from The Bottom, submerging herself in city life, and coming into her own as a woman more intellectually and sexually free than anyone around her. Eventually, Sula and Nel must face the consequences of their choices, and their complicated bond. Along with a mysterious third man named Shadrack, they create an unforgettable portrait of a strange American community, and the relationships, tragedies and triumphs that define it.
Houston executive produces with Allain for Homegrown Pictures. Homegrown Pictures creative executive Gabrielle Ebron serves as co-executive producer.
Houston is a poet, critic and TV writer. Following her 2011 graduation from Sarah Lawrence College, Houston went on to become a pop culture writer, and TV and film critic. After selling a pilot to Amazon, she has written on Hulu’s The Looming Tower, Amazon’s Homecoming, Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere, sharing in the show’s Outstanding Limited Series nomination, HBO Max’s Station Eleven, and HBO’s Lovecraft Country. Houston is repped by CAA and attorneys Nina Shaw and Loan Dang.
Allain’s Homegrown Pictures’ film and TV production company is dedicated to creating content by and about women and people of color with authentic stories, depictions and representation. Allain, who made history in 2020 when she became the first Black woman to produce the Academy Awards, earning an Emmy nomination for her work, has produced Hustle & Flow, Something New, Peeples, Beyond The Lights, Dear White People, French Dirty, Burning Sands, Juanita and Really Love. Allain is currently in production on her first documentary, Untitled Billy Preston. She is repped by UTA, Artists First and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.
The Toni Morrison estate is repped by ICM.
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