Barack & Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground unveils new slate of Netflix projects
After signing a first-look deal with the streamer in 2018 and partnering for three acclaimed projects since, Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions has unveiled a slate of six new projects in development at Netflix, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“We created Higher Ground to tell great stories,” the Obamas said in a statement. “This group of projects builds upon that goal and the incredible path forged by films like Crip Camp, Becoming, and the Oscar-winning American Factory. From science fiction to the beauty of our natural world to the relationships that define us, Higher Ground continues to strive for fresh perspectives, compelling characters, and a healthy dose of inspiration. We couldn’t be more proud to team up with the brilliant artists behind each of these stories. Each of them has something important to say.”
The full list of projects in various states of development are as follows:
- Firekeeper’s Daughter: Based on the forthcoming debut novel from Angeline Boulley, the YA series will follow an 18-year-old Native girl who hesitantly goes undercover in a police investigation on her Ojibwe reservation. Mars and Reverie‘s Mickey Fisher will act as showrunner on the series and co-write with Wenonah Wilms, who shares Ojibwe heritage akin to Boulley. Fisher and Wilms are also set to executive produce.
- Exit West: A film adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s acclaimed novel, first announced in March 2020, with Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) set to star and Yann Demange (White Boy Rick) attached to helm.
- Great National Parks: A natural history series from Wild Space Productions and Blue Planet II vet James Honeyborne that explores some of the most awe-inducing national parks and wild spaces around the world.
- Tenzing: Based on the life of Tenzing Norgay, the man who alongside Sir Edmund Hillary became the first to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, with documentary filmmaker Jennifer Peedom, an expert on living on Everest, will make her feature directorial debut on a script from Luke Davies (Lion, Catch-22).
- Satellite: Plot details are currently unknown on the project, but the film is described as a sci-fi feature with Ola Shokunbi writig and Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman’s T Street attached, with Kiri Hart and Stephan Feder producing for the banner.
- The Young Wife: Written and directed by Selah and the Spades‘ Tayarisha Poe, the story centers on 29-year-old Celestina on the day of her first wedding — or not exactly a wedding but a party where she feels out of sync.
“It has been thrilling to watch President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and the Higher Ground team dive into original programming and produce incredible stories,” Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “American Factory, Crip Camp and Becoming have captivated audiences all around the world, and their new slate highlights the variety and depth of programming on the horizon as well as new and exciting storytellers.”
(Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)