×

Benedict Cumberbatch’s SunnyMarch Banner Lands TV Rights to Memoir ‘The Gender Games’

SunnyMarch, the production banner founded by Benedict Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland, has acquired the TV rights to “The Gender Games,” the memoir by best-selling author and trans activist Juno Dawson. The book will serve as a jumping off point to create an original half-hour series picking up Dawson’s journey post-transition.

A playful manifesto on womanhood and a celebration of female friendship, the series will tell Dawson’s story as she learns how to live, love, and date as a woman. Having built a career, relationships and identity on the other side of the gender divide, Dawson is constantly coming up against everyone’s expectations of what being a woman means, including her own. Surrounded by her close-knit group of straight, gay, cis and trans friends, Juno’s journey into womanhood makes for funny, poignant, and often profound moments of self-discovery.

“I was surprised and delighted when Sunnymarch wanted to adapt my life story, but we immediately shared a vision for a fast, funny, fashionable show about young women who just happen to be transgender,” Dawson said. “Working with Rose allows me to tell my story in a way that no other drama has authentically explored the trans experience of life and love.”

British screenwriter and playwright Rose Lewenstein has come on board to write the project and will work closely with Dawson to create the series and tell a fictionalized version of her life.

“We’re so thrilled Juno has trusted us and Rose with the hugely thrilling task of turning her own experiences into an original series about womanhood, friendship and dating in the 21st century,” said Claire Marshall, executive producer at SunnyMarch.

Lewenstein was just commissioned by Channel 4 as part of their 4Stories scheme championing emerging voices in drama. She participated in last year’s BBC TV Drama Writers Programme and is currently developing several other original series. Her plays have been shown at major London theatres including the Arcola, Theatre503, and the Southwark Playhouse.

Dawson is the international bestselling author of over ten young adult books and non-fiction titles, as well as a journalist with columns in Glamour UK and Attitude Magazine. She is also a key LGBTQ activist with Stonewall and was recently featured on ITV’s “Transformation Street.” Her latest novel, “Clean,” was published in April to critical acclaim. Along with Naomi Alderman, Dawson is one of the first authors to write a novelization of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th, and first female, incarnation of the Time Lord on BBC’s “Doctor Who.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Hocus Pocus' Sequel in Development at Disney Plus

    Disney Plus has launched development of a sequel to 1993’s fantasy comedy “Hocus Pocus” with “Workaholics” writer and co-producer Jen D’Angelo on board to script. The original “Hocus Pocus” starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as a trio of witch sisters who have been cursed since 1693 in Salem, Ma. The witches [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Wins 2019 Eppy Award for Best Digital Magazine

    Variety has won two Eppy Awards from Editor & Publisher, including Best Digital Magazine and Best Collaborative Investigative/Enterprise Feature for “American (In)Justice” — a collaboration with fellow PMC property Rolling Stone. “American (In)Justice” also tied with USA Today’s “Copy, Paste, Legislate” collaboration with The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity. Variety has provided [...]

  • Joker Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

    Box Office: Villains Face Off Again as 'Joker' and 'Maleficent' Battle for First Place

    Despite three new nationwide releases, domestic box office charts look to be dominated by holdovers — Warner Bros.’ “Joker” and Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” — during the last weekend in October. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted last weekend with $36 million in North America, enough to dethrone “Joker” after the super-villain origin story’s back-to-back [...]

  • Yasushi Shiina

    Tokyo Market is Finding New Strengths, Says Yasushi Shiina

    Clouds on the global economic horizon and disruption to the scheduling of the event, have done little to dampen the interest of foreign visitors to TIFFCOM, Japan’s biggest film and TV market. Especially those from China, says market head, Yasushi Shiina. The market is again running at the Sunshine City shopping, entertainment and business complex [...]

  • "Weathering With You" directed by Makoto

    Toho Unveils Dual Media Romance 'Love Me, Love Me Not' at Tokyo Market

    Japan’s biggest film company, which produces, distributes and exhibits its own product in partnership with leading media companies, Toho has brought a line-up to TIFFCOM full of present and future hits. The biggest is “Weathering with You,” the love story animation by Makoto Shinkai that surpassed the $100 million mark only a month after its [...]

  • Hit Me Anyone One More Time

    TIFFCOM: Pony Canyon Saddles up FujiTV's Smash 'Hit Me Anyone'

    One of Japan’s five major broadcast networks, Fuji TV has also been a pioneer and leader among the networks in feature film production. This year at TIFFCOM long-time partner Pony Canyon is representing Fuji TV films that have recently hit number one at the Japanese box office. Among the hottest, with three straight weeks atop [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content