Brace yourself. Today, Barack and Michelle Obama finally announced their first slate in partnership with Netflix, and it’s as wide-ranging as it is brilliant. The power couple’s Higher Ground Productions is set to tackle everything from a film adaptation of David W. Blight’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Frederick Douglass biography to a drama series based on The New York Times column Overlooked, which hones in on the lives of remarkable Americans whose deaths were never previously covered in the newspaper.
Perhaps their most notable project, however, might just be Bloom – described as an “upstairs/downstairs” drama set in the heart of the fashion industry in post-war Manhattan. The series will centre on the “barriers faced by women and by people of colour in an era marked by hurdles but also tremendous progress”. Oscar-winner Callie Khouri (Thelma and Louise) is currently writing the script based on an idea she developed with director Clement Virgo (The Wire) and novelist Juliana Maio (City of the Sun).
It’s a fitting streaming debut for the Obamas, who launched Higher Ground to foster more diverse storytelling on screen. While none of the projects have fixed casts or release dates as of yet, it’s expected that most will be rolled out in the next two years, with further announcements due to follow in the coming months. President Obama said of the news, “Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights, and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect, and inspire us all.”
Author: HAYLEY MAITLAND