In the wake of the success of the Kevin Hart feature Fatherhood on Netflix, the producers of that movie, Higher Ground and Temple Hill, are collaborating with the streaming giant once again for a new project entitled Blackout, a film & television event which will be adapted from six different Black love stories written by six different writers.
Those scribes are Dhonielle Clayton (Tiny Pretty Things), Tiffany D. Jackson (Allegedly), Nic Stone (Dear Martin), Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), Ashley Woodfolk (The Beauty that Remains) and Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything). Blackout is being developed as part of Higher Ground’s overall deal with Netflix.
From the perspective of 12 teens with six shots of love, Blackout takes place as a heatwave blankets New York City in darkness and causes an electric chaos. When the lights go out and people reveal hidden truths, love blossoms, friendships transform, and all possibilities take flight. An ex-couple must bury their rivalry
and walk the length of Manhattan to make it back to Brooklyn in time to kick off a block party. Two girls search for a lost photograph and find something more. Two boys trapped on the subway come face-to-face with their feelings. A pair of best friends stuck in the NYPL and surrounded by love stories figure out if there’s one in their future. A trio of kids on a senior trip take over a double-decker tour bus as they try to have a little fun…and work out their messy love triangle. Two strangers debate the philosophical nature of identity and wonder if they can find something else between them.
Clayton is the New York Times bestselling author of The Belles series and the coauthor of the Tiny Pretty Things duology (now a Netflix original series). She is COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent and diverse literary confections for middle-grade, young adult, and women’s fiction readers. Clayton is represented by Molly Ker Hawn of the Bent Agency for her work as an individual and UTA.
Jackson is the critically acclaimed author of YA novels including the NAACP Image Award-nominated Allegedly; Monday’s Not Coming, a Walter Dean Myers Honored Book and Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner; and Let Me Hear a Rhyme. Her most recent novel Grown was released last September. Jackson is repped by Jenny Bent of the Bent Agency and UTA.
Stone is the New York Times-bestselling author of Dear Martin, Odd One Out, JackPot, and Clean Getaway. Stone is represented by Mollie Glick at CAA.
Thomas worked with Temple Hill which turned her No. 1 New York Times bestseller into the 20th Century Fox movie The Hate U Give starring Amandla Stenberg and directed by George Tillman, Jr. Her second novel, On the Come Up, is in development at Paramount, while her next novel, Concrete Rose, hit shelves in January. She’s inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. She is repped by Molly Ker Hawn of the Bent Agency and UTA.
Woodfolk’s first novel is The Beauty that Remains, and When You Were Everything is her second novel. Woodfolk is represented by Beth Phelan of Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency and UTA.
Yoon is the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star. She is a National Book Award finalist, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book recipient, and Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner. Both her novels have been made into major motion pictures. Yoon is represented by Jodi Reamer at Writers House and Anonymous Content.
Higher Ground’s upcoming film slate includes Rustin, the story of gay, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who organized the 1963 March on Washington, directed by George C. Wolfe; Exit West based on Mohsin Hamid’s critically acclaimed novel; Satellite a science fiction film written by Ola Shokunbi. Additionally, High Ground is set to present Worth, starring Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci. Higher Ground also has a range of fiction, non-fiction and kids and family content across both series, feature films and podcasts. Series include: Ada Twist, Scientist; Firekeeper’s Daughter, a series based on the debut novel by Angeline Boulley; Great National Parks, a natural history docuseries that will explore some of the most wondrous national parks and wild spaces on Earth and The G Word with Adam Conover, a hybrid comedy series hosted by Adam Conover (Adam Ruins Everything) based on The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy by bestselling author Michael Lewis (The Big Short, Moneyball).
UTA brokered the deal on behalf of the authors and Temple Hill.
Fatherhood debuted as the No. 1 movie on Netflix in 82 countries and is projected to be viewed in 61M households during its first four weeks. Netflix licensed global rights (sans China) for Fatherhood from Sony; the Paul Weitz directed family drama initially set for a theatrical release before the pandemic hit.