×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Zoe Saldana to Star in Netflix Limited Series ‘From Scratch’ With Reese Witherspoon Producing (EXCLUSIVE)

Zoe Saldana and Reese Witherspoon are teaming to adapt Tembi Locke’s memoir “From Scratch” as a limited series for Netflix, Variety has learned exclusively.

Saldana will star in and executive produce the series, which is described as an autobiographical romance that follows an American woman as she falls in love with a Sicilian man while studying abroad in Italy then builds a life with him in the United States. When she unexpectedly loses him to illness, she is challenged to pull herself through grief so she can raise their daughter as they would have raised her together: with hope, joy and infinite love.

“From Scratch” was published in April by Simon and Schuster and was selected as Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine May 2019 book pick. Tembi Locke’s sister Attica Locke will serve as showrunner and executive producer on the series. Attica previously wrote for Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series “When They See Us” and was also a supervising producer and writer on Fox’s “Empire.”

Saldana will executive produce along with Witherspoon and Witherspoon’s producing partner Lauren Neustadter, with the latter two executive producing under Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner. Richard Abate, Jermaine Johnson, and Will Rowbotham of 3 Arts Entertainment will also executive produce. Saldana’s sisters Cisely Saldana and Mariel Saldana will serve as co-producers.

“This is a profound true story of love and family, deprivation and nourishment, that needs to be brought to life on the screen as Tembi Locke brought it vividly to life for me on the page,” said Saldana. “We are grateful to Netflix and thrilled to be working with Reese, Lauren, Attica and 3 Arts on this wonderful project.”

According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, Attica brought the book to Hello Sunshine’s attention prior to its publication when she was meeting with the company regarding another project. Witherspoon then had dinner with Saldana shortly thereafter and sent her the manuscript.

“Tembi’s memoir is a raw and tender exhibition of life in all its pieces,” said Witherspoon. “She brings you into her love, her loss and her resilience with such vulnerability and strength. We immediately fell for Attica and Tembi’s vision and feel honored to have the opportunity to help bring it to life on-screen. We could not imagine more perfect partners for this than Zoe and her sisters and 3 Arts Entertainment, along with the incredible team at Netflix.”

This will mark the first regular television role of Saldana’s career. She is best known for her film work, having starred in major blockbusters such as “Avatar,” the rebooted “Star Trek” films, and the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films. She also appeared in both “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” Her television credits include “Law & Order,” “Six Degrees,” and the miniseries “Rosemary’s Baby.”

She is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment, and Morris Yorn.

“Attica and I are honored to be adapting ‘From Scratch’ with the visionary Reese Witherspoon, Lauren Neustadter, Richard Abate and the incredibly gifted Zoe Saldana,” said Tembi Locke. “We have a shared interest in championing stories that bring a rich tapestry of experiences to the screen. I am thrilled that this global love story has found a perfect home at Netflix.”

Witherspoon has been increasingly involved in TV over the past few years, beginning with starring in and executive producing the Emmy-winning HBO series “Big Little Lies.” She currently stars in and executive produces the Apple TV Plus series “The Morning Show” and will star in and executive produce the upcoming Hulu series “Little Fires Everywhere.” She is also an executive producer on the Apple series “Truth Be Told” starring Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul and the upcoming Amazon series “Daisy Jones and the Six,” with more projects in development. Like “From Scratch,” “Big Little Lies,” “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Truth Be Told,” and “Daisy Jones and the Six” are all based on books, while “The Morning Show” drew inspiration from Brian Stelter’s book ” Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.”

She is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment, and Hansen Jacobson.

“Between the Locke sisters and the Saldana sisters, I’ve never seen a show that’s more of a family affair,” said Channing Dungey, vice president of original series at Netflix. “Reese Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine have been producing really exciting content and we’re thrilled to make this powerful and emotional series with them.”

More from Reese Witherspoon:

More TV

  • Imelda Staunton'Downton Abbey' photocall, Rome Film

    'The Crown' Has Not Cast Imelda Staunton for Seasons 5 and 6, Netflix Says

    Netflix is shooting down reports that Imelda Staunton is joining “The Crown.” “We are currently filming season 4 of ‘The Crown’ but have not commissioned any further seasons as yet, therefore any news on casting remains pure speculation,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. Staunton, known to many as the despicable Dolores Umbridge in [...]

  • Baby Yoda The Mandalorian

    Baby Yoda Merchandise to Debut Ahead of Holiday Shopping Season

    Purchase Baby Yoda toys, you will. Fans of the breakout character from the Disney Plus series “The Mandalorian” have been surprised that there was no merchandise pegged to the character available upon the launch of the show, given that the Christmas shopping season is rapidly approaching. But according to an individual with knowledge of the [...]

  • Sean "Diddy" Combs Revolt TV

    Sean Combs Slams 'Illusion of Economic Inclusion' at Comcast Amid Byron Allen Fight

    Sean Combs has come out swinging against Comcast in a lengthy statement prompted by the cable giant’s legal battle with Entertainment Studios chief Byron Allen. Combs accused Comcast of maintaining “the illusion of economic inclusion” in its handling of a carriage agreement with Combs’ Revolt TV channel. Combs was critical of Comcast for failing to [...]

  • Oprah Winfrey during a tribute to

    TV News Roundup: OWN Orders Celebrity Relationship Series '#LoveGoals'

    In today’s TV news roundup, OWN orders a new unscripted relationship series and Disney Channel orders new seasons of “The Owl House” and “Sydney to the Max.”  DATES ABC will live broadcast the “2020 NCAA Gymnastics Championship Final” on April 18. The semi finals will air the day before at 1 and 6 p.m. ET. [...]

  • Sissy book cover

    Showtime to Develop Series Based on Jacob Tobia Memoir 'Sissy' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Showtime is developing a half-hour dramedy based on Jacob Tobia’s memoir, Variety has learned exclusively. Tobia is a non-binary LGBTQ rights activist, actor, producer, and author. Their memoir, “Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story,” was published earlier this year by Putnam Books at Penguin Random House. The series, currently titled “Sissy,” would follow Tobi Gibran, a non-binary college [...]

  • Invisible Stories from HBO Asia

    Singapore Festival: HBO Asia Tells ‘Invisible Stories’

    HBO Asia has expanded its burgeoning production slate with six-episode half-hour series “Invisible Stories.” The first two episodes of the show, “Lian” and “Chuan,” play at the Singapore International Film Festival on Nov. 28. The series is by writer and director Ler Jiyuan, who previously directed part of HBO Asia Original series “Grisse.” “Like 80% [...]

  • Jane Galloway Heitz

    'Glee' Actress Jane Galloway Heitz Dies at 78

    Jane Galloway Heitz, known for playing the character of Lillian Adler on “Glee,” has died, according to an obituary posted in the Chicago Tribune. She was 78. The actress only appeared in person twice on the Fox show, once in the pilot and on another occasion in 2015, as her character’s image appeared in a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content