Disney Branded Television will bring Shawn Amos’ debut novel Cookies & Milk to screen with an animated series currently in development. The project hails from Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland of Cinema Gypsy Productions (black-ish), Jesse Murphy and James Sears Bryant of Jesse James Films and Shawn Amos.
The semi-autobiographical Cookies & Milk is inspired by the childhood of Shawn Amos, a Blues musician and the son of iconic Wallace “Wally” Amos, Jr., founder of the Famous Amos chocolate chip cookie brand. The Cookies & Milk teleplay follows the summer adventures of harmonica-playing middle-schooler Ellis Johnson as he begrudgingly helps his wildly optimistic and quite possibly magical father open the world’s first cookie shop in 1970s Hollywood, California.
“It’s an absolute coup to bring Shawn Amos’s heartfelt, humorous book to Disney television screens and, with the guiding vision, credibility and track record of our Cinema Gypsy and Jesse James Films creative team, we’re looking forward to telling this authentic and relatable story about belonging, self-acceptance and forgiveness,” said Ayo Davis, president, Disney Branded Television.
Added Fishburne and Sugland: “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Shawn Amos, Ayo Davis and the talented team at Disney Branded Television. Shawn’s semi-autobiographical novel, Cookies & Milk, is partially based on his own experiences growing up as the son of Wally “Famous” Amos. This humorous and heartwarming exploration of summer fun and friendship seen through the eyes of a young black boy being raised by his divorced father is full of joy, self-discovery and a whole lot of unconditional love.”
Jesse James Films acquired television and film rights to the upcoming novel back in June 2020. Amos’ Cookies & Milk
Brian Egeston (“The Game,” the upcoming film “On A Wing and A Prayer”) is set as co-executive producer and story editor. Cookies & Milk will release on May 24, 2022. The book is published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
“We are so excited to have found the right home for this show with Disney Television Animation, Laurence and Helen. Shawn has created such a beautiful reimagining of his childhood in a narrative that we hope will universally connect with audiences on and off the page,” added Murphy and Sears Bryant.
“What a dream to see this Black kid from Hollywood become a Disney character. I wrote Cookies & Milk for my son to help him understand his family, his culture, and himself,” said Amos. “I hope kids of all colors will see something of their own selves in Ellis. I’m so grateful to Helen, Jesse, and Laurence for championing my story. I know it’s in good hands with them and the deeply creative folks at Disney.”
Cookies & Milk marks the second animated project at Disney for Cinema Gypsy, which has a first look deal with ABC Signature, and is in production on Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur for Disney Channel.
In addition the aforementioned executive producers, Brian Egeston (The Game) serves as as co-executive producer and story editor.
Fishburne and Cinema Gypsy Productions are represented by CAA, Landmark Artists Management, and attorneys Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang. Jesse James Films is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment and Crowe & Dunlevy. Egeston is represented by manager Adam Robinson at The Rookery, The Gersh Agency and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher LLP. Amos is represented by Barnes & Thornburg, LLP.