EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Natalie Portman and producing partner Sophie Mas have inked a first-look deal with Apple. Under the multi-year agreement, Apple TV+ will have a first look on television projects to be developed and produced by Portman and Mas through their newly formed production company MountainA. This marks the first producing deal for the pair.
The TV deal makes sense for all parties as Portman, Mas and Apple worked together on the recently announced Apple Original limited series Lady in the Lake, which marked Portman’s TV acting debut. She is co-starring with Lupita Nyong’o on the series, directed and co-written by Alma Har’el. All three women serve as executive producers along with Dre Ryan, who will co-create and co-write the series with Har’el, who will write the pilot. Portman and Mas will serve as executive producers through MountainA.
Lady In the Lake is an adaptation of Laura Lippman’s New York Times bestselling novel of the same name. The limited series takes place in 1960s Baltimore, where an unsolved murder pushes housewife and mother Maddie Schwartz (Portman) to reinvent her life as an investigative journalist and sets her on a collision course with Cleo Sherwood (Nyong’o), a hardworking woman juggling motherhood, many jobs and a passionate commitment to advancing Baltimore’s Black progressive agenda.
The series will be produced by Crazyrose and Bad Wolf America, is executive produced by Har’el alongside producing partner Christopher Leggett through her new production company Zusa. Crazyrose principals Jean-Marc Vallée and Nathan Ross will also serve as executive producers, and Julie Gardner will executive produce for Bad Wolf America. Lippman and Ryan will also executive produce on the project. Endeavor Content is the studio.
Apple TV+ has not only become a place that is attracting A-list talent for first-look deals but also award-winning female storytellers with Portman and Mas now joining that group. Talent with deals at Apple TV+ include Oprah Winfrey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kerry Ehrin, Monica Beletsky, Sharon Horgan and Alena Smith. Apple has also recently inked deals with Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuarón, Jason Katims, Lee Eisenberg and Simon Kinberg. To date, Apple has also inked overall and first-look deals with companies including Appian Way, the film and television production company founded by Leonardo DiCaprio and co-run by Jennifer Davisson; Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures; Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions; A24 and Imagine Documentaries; as well as with Sesame Workshop and Peanuts.
Besides Lady In the Lake, some of Mas’ other producing credits include Call Me by Your Name, Ad Astra and Patti Cake$.
Portman is repped by CAA and the Law Offices of George Sheanshang. MountainA is repped by CAA and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.