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.”