The two-year pact with the filmmaker’s Anthony Hemingway Productions will encompass projects for Hemingway to both develop and direct for the Disney-owned unit on a multitude of platforms
“We live in a world that has consistently proven that basic opportunity just isn’t enough for people within the BIPOC community,” Hemingway told Deadline this morning. “Anthony Hemingway Productions is a cultural incubator and an intergenerational connector; fueling the creation of innovative, inspiring and provocative content across all platforms,” the Emmy winner added.
“I’ve had nothing but wonderful experiences working with Dana Walden, Craig Hunegs and Carolyn Cassidy,” Hemingway, who is currently enmeshed in the next installment of Nat Geo’s Genius anthology from Imagine Television and Fox 21 TV Studios that stars Cynthia Erivo as the Queen of Soul. “The enthusiasm, respect and support they have for empowering artists creating valuable opportunities invested in culture and community, which is our mission at AHP – that was a major selling point. I’m also really excited about the feeling that you know you can take your projects anywhere, starting with some of the top tier services (which are a part of my new extended Disney family). I couldn’t be happier to call 20th my new production home.”
Having helmed the September 6 premiering pilot for the Mary J. Blige Power spinoff, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story director Hemingway is also working on Washington Black, based on Esi Edugyan’s third novel about the escape from slavery and subsequent experiences of George Washington “Wash” Black. Part of Gotham Group’s first look deal with TCFTV, the developing Hulu project finds Hemingway directing the Selwyn Hinds adaption that Sterling K. Brown is producing.
All of which makes today’s announcement a further melding of an already tight relationship between multiple NAACP Image Award nominee Hemingway and TCFTV.
“Anthony has directed episodes of many of our most iconic series, from Glee to Empire to American Horror Story, and you just know when he’s at the helm you are going to get something extraordinary,” declared TCFTV president Carolyn Cassidy on Monday on the deal with AHP and its founder. “We are so excited about the plans he has for his company, the kinds of projects he is looking to develop and the voices and communities he intends to platform. His creative goals align perfectly with the vision of our studio and we feel lucky to have him at 20th.”
Of course, with productions halted back in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, likely right near the top of Hemingway’s list once things finally open up again is finishing off Fox 21/Nat Geo’s Genius: Aretha. With its original May 25 debut date postponed in the early spring as the global health crisis began to force schedules to be rearranged, the Atlanta-based shot of the eight-episode Aretha was mainly done, I hear, but there remain several episodes left to shoot.