The bestseller is set in 1890 Atlanta. It will follow a 17-year-old named Jo Kuan who lives with her guardian, Old Gin, secretly inside a basement. She works for one of the wealthiest families as a maid during the day and writes anonymously under the name Miss Sweetie for a newspaper by night; helping to solve the community disagreements that span race, gender bias, the women’s movement and old-fashioned civility. Finding her voice gives way to Jo having the courage to confront the questions and secrets of her family and identity. Emmy and WGA Award-winning writer Aminta Goyel (“Ghostwriter”) will adapt “The Downstairs Girl” as a half-hour series.
Bound Entertainment is a Korea-based studio that was founded in 2019 by veteran entertainment executive Samuel Ha, who previously produced “Okja” and “Snowpiercer.” It is currently in production on “Dr. Brain,” which will air on Apple TV Plus. Bound specializes in TV, film and digital media with a focus on talent, resources and stories from and about the Asian diaspora.
“Growing up as a Korean American in the South, I have always wanted to tell stories that included people who look like me in our history, set in the area I grew up,” Ha said. “Asians are in every corner of the U.S. and in our history, and it has always been Bound’s priority to include them in the stories we tell. Stacey has been a leader in seeing the possibility of the characters in our history we may have overlooked, and we’re excited to have Aminta work with us in bringing this delightful and authentic YA story to screen.”
“The Downstairs Girl” is produced by Bound Entertainment with Ha and Jamie Lai serving as executive producers. Lee will also serve as an executive producer.
“I’m excited for Miss Sweetie to step into the homes of modern viewers, who might not have imagined a heroine like this could exist in 1890 Atlanta,” Lee said. “‘The Downstairs Girl’ was a treat to write, and I’m honored to collaborate with Bound Entertainment to bring it off the page and onto the screen!”
Lee is represented by Alice Lawson of The Gersh Agency, Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency, and attorney Wayne Alexander of Alexander, Lawrence, Frumes & Labowitz, LLP. Goyel is represented by The Gersh Agency and Zero Gravity Management.