Erik Feig’s Picturestart has acquired the television rights to develop and produce an adaptation of Kim Johnson’s award-winning fiction novel “This Is My America” with Fake Empire for HBO Max. Jessica Watson, co-producer of the upcoming Freeform series “Single Drunk Female” from producers Jenni Konner and Leslye Headland, will write the script and executive produce.
“This Is My America” follows 17-year-old Tracy Beaumont, a budding social activist who fights not just to save her father from death row, but also to clear her older brother’s name when he becomes the number one suspect in the murder of a popular white girl at their school. The book explores racial injustice through the Black Gen-Z protagonist’s eyes, as she dives deeper into a web of mysteries surrounding her Texas town’s racist past and present. Tracy discovers secrets that have remained hidden for far too long. Like Tracy, the author held leadership positions in social justice organizations as a teen. She’s now a college administrator based in Oregon who maintains civic engagement throughout her community while also mentoring Black student activists and leaders.
Chloe Dan, Lucy Kitada and Royce Reeves-Darby will oversee the project for Picturestart, while Fake Empire’s Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage and Lis Rowinski will executive produce alongside Johnson. Schwartz and Savage are currently executive producing the reboot of hit CW series “Gossip Girl” for HBO Max. Their additional credits include Hulu’s YA adaptation of John Green’s “Looking for Alaska,” and the CW’s “Nancy Drew” and “Dynasty.” Watson’s other credits include writing on Tracy Oliver’s upcoming Amazon series “Harlem,” produced by Amy Poehler. She also wrote an episode for the first season of Hulu’s “Pen15.” Upcoming projects for Picturestart include “Borderlands” with Lionsgate, “Luckiest Girl Alive” for Netflix and “Sharper” for Apple.
Johnson is repped by UTA and Jennifer March Soloway from the Andrea Brown Literary Agency; Watson is repped by Rise Management and Ziffren Brittenham; Schwartz and Savage are repped by WME and attorney Joel McKuin. Schwartz is additionally repped by Mikkel Bondesen.