YouTube Slates Original Gigi Gorgeous Documentary, JennxPenn Series

YouTube Red’s originals slate is adding two new productions: a documentary about transgender digital star Gigi Gorgeous helmed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, and a series starring popular YouTube personality JennxPenn.

On Wednesday, the first YouTube Red original programming — three films featuring digital stars and the prankish “Scare PewDiePie” series — premiered on the $10-per-month video and music service.

Gigi Gorgeous, a 23-year-old formerly known as Gregory Lazzarato, is the subject of “Untitled Gigi Gorgeous Project,” taking a look at the Canadian native’s journey from childhood into her transformation into a woman. Gigi Gorgeous, a beauty and fashion vlogger with more than 2.1 million subscribers, announced in a December 2013 YouTube video that she was transgender.

“I’ve spent the last five years going through a very personal journey,” Gigi Gorgeous said in a statement provided by her reps. “I’m nervous but thrilled to lift the curtain and share my intimate details and experiences through this film on YouTube Red.”

Popular on Variety

The untitled Gigi Gorgeous documentary is produced in collaboration with YouTube, SelectNext and Sander/Moses Productions. The film will be executive produced by Gigi Gorgeous, SelectNext’s Adam Wescott and Scott Fisher, as well as Ian Sander and Kim Moses of Sander/Moses Productions.

Kopple, whose films “American Dream” and “Harlan County, USA” won Academy Awards, is bringing her cinéma vérité style to telling Gigi Gorgeous’ story. The project is filming this week at New York Fashion Week, where Gigi Gorgeous is appearing in the American Heart Association’s Red Dress event, and will also shoot in L.A. and in Toronto revisiting her childhood haunts.

Producers originally intended to shop the Gigi Gorgeous documentary to festivals; under the YouTube Red arrangement, the video site is fully funding the project for exclusive distribution, while still allowing the docu to be screened at festivals. “The goal here is to really elevate the level of content that can be done on YouTube Red, and also to satisfy and intrigue her fans,” Wescott said. He added that the film will incorporate portions of the 4.5 hours of video Gigi Gorgeous shot of her transition to becoming a woman, including footage of her transgender surgery and private family moments.

“Foursome,” starring JennXPenn (19-year-old Jenn McAllister), comes from AwesomenessTV. McAllister is Andie, an undateable sophomore — thanks to her older brother Alec, played by Vine star Logan Paul, who makes sure no guy comes near her. Andie must rely on the unbreakable bond she has with her three best friends, as they navigate the hormone-induced journey known as high school.

YouTube Red originals now live are “Scare PewDiePie,” starring gaming vlogger Felix Kjellberg; “A Trip to Unicorn Island,” a documentary about Lilly Singh (aka IISuperwomanII) on her global tour from Astronauts Wanted; AwesomenessTV’s “Dance Camp” musical teen drama; and “Lazer Team,” a sci-fi action-comedy from Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen Films.

Other previously announced projects coming to YouTube Red include “Prank Academy,” featuring Jesse and Jeana of YouTube’s PrankvsPrank and BFvsGF; “Fight of the Living Dead,” a reality show from Alpine Labs with popular YouTubers trapped in a zombie apocalypse; “Untitled 360 Game Theory,” a show exploring virtual-reality experiences hosted by YouTube educator and pop-culture commentator MatPat from the Game Theorists; and “Bad Internet,” written by and starring the cast of IAC’s CollegeHumor, a dark and comedic look at the absurdity of Internet culture.

More Digital

  • Vudu

    NBCUniversal in Talks to Buy Walmart's Vudu

    Comcast’s NBCUniversal is looking to add some Vudu into its streaming-video mix. The media conglomerate is in talks to buy Vudu, the Walmart-owned entertainment rental, download and free-streaming service, sources confirm to Variety. It’s unclear what the terms of the pact would be or the timing. News of NBCU’s interest in Vudu was first reported [...]

  • Tubi

    Fox in Talks to Acquire Free-Streaming Service Tubi for Over $500 Million (Report)

    Fox Corp. is in discussions about acquiring Tubi, the ad-supported free streaming service, in a deal worth more than $500 million, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing anonymous sources. With Tubi, Rupert Murdoch’s TV broadcasting and cable company would be adding a dedicated streaming component — offering over 20,000 older TV shows and [...]

  • Zombies 2 Disney Channel

    How Disney Channel's 'Zombies 2' Production Team Made Monsters Kid-Friendly

    Traditionally spooky creatures like zombies and werewolves get the Disney treatment in “Zombies 2,” the follow-up to the 2018 hit TV-movie musical of the same name. While the undead have now assimilated into the community of Seabrook, they’re confronted by a new set of outsiders: werewolves. Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly return as Zed and [...]

  • Baby Yoda - The Child Animatronic

    Hasbro's Adorable Baby Yoda Animatronic Toy Is Already Sold Out on Disney's Online Store

    The Force remains strong for toys based on Baby Yoda, the breakout star of Disney Plus original series “The Mandalorian.” Less than a day after becoming available for pre-order, Hasbro’s new $59.99 Baby Yoda animatronic toy is no longer available on Disney’s official online store: As of Friday morning, Shop Disney listed it as “sold [...]

  • BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday

    BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday Playlist Rebrand

    Spotify has launched a global rebrand of its popular New Music Friday playlist, which this week features BTS, The Weeknd, Noah Cyrus, Trippie Redd, Kenny Chesney, Rei Ami and others. The revamped playlist, which has 43 versions worldwide, has more than 3.5 million followers in the US and eight million globally. New elements include a [...]

  • The Witcher - Netflix

    'The Witcher' Season 2 Production Starts in U.K., Adds Seven to Cast Including 'Game of Thrones' Star Kristofer Hivju

    Production on fantasy epic “The Witcher” Season 2 has commenced in the U.K., with a planned launch in 2021, Netflix announced. The show also announced seven new cast members joining “The Witcher” for S2, including Kristofer Hivju, the Norwegian actor who played the red-bearded wilding leader Tormund Giantsbane on “Game of Thrones.” Netflix last month [...]

  • Disney Plus - Vizio

    Disney Plus Is Now on Vizio Smart TVs in Native App

    Disney Plus is available on Vizio’s SmartCast TV platform as a built-in app, making the Mouse House’s subscription-streaming service accessible directly to users of the manufacturer’s 13 million SmartCast-enabled televisions. Previously, Vizio users have been able to stream Disney Plus on SmartCast TVs through Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. But with the Disney Plus update, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content