Chernin Entertainment and Lynn Harris and Matti Leshem’s Weimaraner Republic Pictures (The Shallows) are teaming to produce a television adaptation of the hit true crime podcast The Clearing, based on the life of April Balascio. The Clearing marks the first project under a new first-look television deal between Chernin Entertainment and WRPCO announced today by the two companies. Chernin Entertainment and Endeavor Content will serve as the studio on the project via their previously existing partnership.
Hosted by Josh Dean, The Clearing podcast is produced by Pineapple Street Studios in association with Gimlet Media. One of the biggest hits last summer, the podcast was No. 1 on the Apple charts for over a month.
The Clearing is about the life April has lived since learning about evidence that connected the haunting memories of her father, Edward Wayne Edwards, to an unsolved double homicide in a town they lived in when she was 11 years old. The show examines the process of making the decision to turn her dad in, the horror of watching as he confessed to additional murders, the questions that linger about the choices she’s made, and murders that remain unsolved. While April struggles to piece together the jagged, awful memories of her past, she is also trying to take back the narrative of her father, particularly from one retired detective who is convinced that Edward was responsible for every unsolved murder from the Black Dahlia to JonBenét Ramsey.
“We are really gratified that April has entrusted us to help tell her thrilling and brave story, and equally excited to team with Lynn and Matti under their WRPCO banner to bring The Clearing to a new platform and audience,” said Jenno Topping, President of Film & Television at Chernin Entertainment. “WRPCO, David Ready, myself and the rest of our group have a similar ethos and creative enthusiasm about pushing the boundaries of storytelling. This is just the first and we look forward to more.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with Chernin Entertainment to create meaningful and cutting-edge television. This is epitomized by our first foray with the telling of April’s story,” said WRPCO’s Harris and Leshem.
Chernin Entertainment’s recent projects include James Mangold’s Ford V Ferrari, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, as well as the Apple TV+ series See starring Jason Momoa, and Truth be Told starring Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul. Upcoming films for Chernin Entertainment include the animated feature Spies in Disguise with Will Smith and Tom Holland, Underwater starring Kristen Stewart and the Fear Street trilogy based on the R.L. Stine’s book series.
WRPCO is a film and television production company founded by Lynn Harris and Matti Leshem in June 2014. The company’s first foray into film was The Shallows, starring Blake Lively and directed by Jaume Collett-Serra for Sony Pictures. Harris produced The 5th Wave, starring Chloe Moretz, also for Sony Pictures. Leshem is currently in post-production on Harry Haft, which is scheduled for release in 2020, and directed by Barry Levinson. On the television side, WRPCO is producing USA’s Camelot by Sam Franco and Evan Kilgore and starring Jessica Biel, in addition to Saints, an anthology series set in the world of Catholic Saints, with Sonar Entertainment and Martin Scorsese.