×

‘Young Sheldon’ Director’s Feature Debut ‘Finding Ohana’ Lands at Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix has nabbed the rights to “Young Sheldon” director Jude Weng’s feature directorial debut “Finding Ohana.”

The film follows two Brooklyn siblings (Kea Peahu and Alex Aiono) whose summer in a rural Oahu town takes an exciting turn when a journal pointing to long-lost treasure sets them on an adventure, leading them to reconnect with their Hawaiian heritage.

The pic marks Peahu and Aiono’s acting debuts and sources tell Variety it was very important for Netflix to find a cast of predominantly Hawaiian / Pacific Islander, even if it met find a lot of newcomers for the large ensemble.

“The Good Place’s” Marc Evan Jackson, Lindsay Watson, Owen Vaccaro, Kelly Hu, Ke Huy Quan, Ricky Garcia, Ryan Higa, Mapuana Makia, Brad Kalilimoku, X Mayo, and Kyndra Sanchez have also joined the cast. Christina Strain penned the script.

“Transformers'” Ian Bryce will produce through his Ian Bryce Productions with Irene Yeung and JJ Hook executive producing. Katie Malott will serve as an associate producer.

The film joins Netflix’s growing slate of live-action family films featuring kids and teens, which includes the 2019 comedy “Tall Girl,” directed by Nzingha Stewart, as well as the 2020 films “Feel the Beat,” “The Main Event” and “The Sleepover.”

In addition to directing on “Young Sheldon,” Weng has cut her teeth on the TV front helming episodes of series like “iZombie” and “Fresh Off the Boat.” She is repped by CAA.

Strain’s previous writing credits include Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone” as well as “The Magicians” on Syfy. She is repped by CAA and Art/Work Entertainment.

More Film

  • Bob Iger

    Bob Iger's Disney Compensation Drops to $47.5 Million in 2019

    Disney chief Bob Iger saw his compensation for 2019 drop to $47.5 million, a 28% decline from his 2018 pay package. Disney’s leader earned $3 million in salary and a $21.8 million bonus, plus another $10 million in stock awards and $9.6 million in stock options, Disney disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing [...]

  • WTFilms' Gregory Chambet on Riding the

    WTFilms' Gregory Chambet on Riding the New Wave of French Genre Movies

    French horror, fantasy and sci-fi movies – in large part generated by a younger generation of directors combining genre and arthouse styles – are a rising force on the international scene. Among the companies riding this genre wave is WTFilms. French crossover films are a key programming strand at A-list festivals. For example, Cannes Directors’ [...]

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Soaring to $70 Million Opening

    “Bad Boys for Life” is tracking for a solid launch with as much as $70 million at 3,740 venues in North America over the four-day holiday weekend, early estimates showed Friday. The figure was nearly double pre-release forecasts. Some sources cautioned that the final number could be closer to $60 million but “Bad Boys for [...]

  • Olivia Colman Phoebe Waller Bridge Brad

    SAG Awards Predictions 2020: 'Parasite,' 'Fleabag' and Other Top Contenders

    No matter who wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, it will be a surprise. That’s because there aren’t many obvious frontrunners in either the TV or film categories at this year’s competition. Around 160,000 members from across the country vote for the SAG Awards, and with such a large voting body, members [...]

  • This is Us

    Los Angeles On-Location Production Slides 5% in Fourth Quarter

    Overall on-location filming in Los Angeles dropped 5% from October through December, according to a report released by permitting agency FilmLA on Friday. Officials said the decline in overall shoot days to 9,839 was due partly to record activity levels in 2018, which generated the highest level of local production activity of any quarter in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content