EXCLUSIVE: Marissa Jo Cerar, creator, executive producer and showrunner of Women Of the Movement, has signed an overall deal with Kapital Entertainment, the studio behind the upcoming ABC limited series about Mamie Till Mobley, who devoted her life to seeking justice for her son Emmett Till following his brutal killing in the Jim Crow South.
Under the multi-year deal, Cerar will develop, write and produce projects through her company, Two Drifters, working with Kapital’s Kaplan, Dana Honor and Jessie Abbott. With a passion for socially conscious storytelling, Cerar will continue to focus her efforts on projects that explore the intersectionality of the human experience through character-driven, female forward stories across an array of genres and mediums.
Kapital signed Cerar in a competitive situation with multiple studios pursuing the rising writer-producer.
“We are so privileged that MJ chose to work with us,” Kaplan said. “We have been so grateful for her leadership on Women of the Movement and are excited about our long-term partnership and her incredible slate of development.”
Cerar’s relationship with Kapital started with a general meeting. By the end of the meeting, Kaplan and Cerar had partnered to work together on Women of the Movement, a longtime passion project for Kaplan and his collaborators Jay-Z and Will Smith. Cerar wrote the pilot script, led the writers room for the project and became executive producer/showrunner once it was picked up straight-to-series by ABC. It marked Cerar’s first time creating and running a series.
Women of the Movement, which Cerar executive produces with Kapital’s Kaplan, Honor and head of production Michael Lohmann, is currently filming in Mississippi and Tennessee.
“From identity, acceptance and adoption to systemic racism and motherhood, storytelling has allowed me the opportunity to explore topics that are culturally relevant and deeply personal,” Cerar said. “Aaron and the entire Kapital Entertainment team have been incredible partners on Women of the Movement. I am excited to further our relationship so that I can continue telling meaningful stories with fearless collaborators.”
Cerar’s past credits include Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, sharing in the series’ Outstanding Drama Series Emmy nomination and Drama Series WGA Award nomination. She also worked on Netflix’s popular original series 13 Reasons Why, Freeform’s The Fosters, and Fox’s Shots Fired. On the feature side, her original screenplay Conversion is currently in development at K Period Media.
Cerar is repped by ICM Partners, Heroes and Villains Entertainment, and attorney Kim Stenton at Myman Greenspan. For Kapital, the deal was brokered by Sandra Ortiz.