EXCLUSIVE: TriStar Television is developing Alpha Girls, a Silicon Valley drama series based on Julian Guthrie’s praised new book, Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley’s Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime.
The rights deal, orchestrated by producer Cathy Schulman, is said to be TriStar TV’s biggest since TriStar Pictures President Hannah Minghella added oversight of the TV unit in January. Margaret Nagle (The Good Lie) will pen the adaptation for what is being eyed as an ongoing TV series. Schulman executive produces; Guthrie serves as a co-producer.
Schulman’s Welle Entertainment originally landed the rights to the nonfiction book by Guthrie, a New York Times best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize nominee, in 2017 in a bidding war that included Amazon, Universal and Smokehouse, among others.
Alpha Girls, released in May by the Crown Publishing Group, tells the true story of four women who became stars in the cutthroat, high-stakes and male-dominated world of Silicon Valley, and helped finance and build some of the foremost companies of our time. The story takes readers into the personal lives of the women as they navigate men, money, marriage, kids, cancer, betrayals and power.
“When I read Julian’s book, my view of the power balance in Silicon Valley shifted to the extraordinary untold stories of the women who have financed and managed the biggest successes in on-line commerce,” said Schulman. “Julian Guthrie’s page-turning account of the tumult these women experienced both professionally and personally as they made their way to the top is epic. Margaret Nagle’s ability to excavate the human condition through character portrayals and TriStar’s leadership will be the perfect partnership to bring this story to life.”
Guthrie has authored four nonfiction books and is an award-winning journalist who spent 20 years at the San Francisco Chronicle, where her feature writing and enterprise reporting were nominated multiple times for the Pulitzer Prize.
Nagle won three WGA awards for her work on Warm Springs, starring Kenneth Branagh; HBO’s Boardwalk Empire; and feature film The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon. She created and executive produced Red Band Society for ABC Studios and Fox, which starred Oscar winner Octavia Spencer. She currently is adapting Sonia Purnell’s book First Lady about the life of Clementine Churchill as a feature for Maven Pictures and Sayoko Teitelbaum.
Schulman, an Oscar-winning producer and President Emerita of Women in Film, is the President and CEO of Welle Entertainment, a production and finance company dedicated to female-facing content. She most recently produced the Netflix film Otherhood, which released on August 2, and produced the YA film Five Feet Apart for CBS Films, which grossed more than $65M worldwide in four weeks. Schulman is producing the upcoming feature The Woman King, also at TriStar and starring Viola Davis, as well as the drama series for Amazon Studios based on the international best-selling debut novel The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine.
Guthrie is repped by Gersh. Nagle is with Lighthouse Management & Media and attorney David Matlof.