Tessa Thompson Launches Production Company and Lands First-Look Deal at HBO & HBO Max

by Jamila Lizet White

January 19, 2021

Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Tessa Thompson is diving into production with Viva Maude, her new production company. The Sylvie’s Love and Creed actress also announced a first-look deal at HBO and HBO Max and is set to executive produce two novel adaptations, Who Fears Death and The Secret Lives of Church Ladies. 

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

“I’m beyond thrilled to officially launch my production company, Viva Maude, which has been a real passion project and labour of love over the last few years,” the NAACP Image Award-nominated actress told Deadline. “I’m elated to begin this partnership and to bring entertaining and impact television projects to my friends and collaborators at HBO and HBO Max. Together we are committed to developing interesting and inclusive stories with inventive creators and to discover new voices and visionaries.”

Written by Nnedi Okarafor, Who Fears Death shares the coming of age tale of Onyesowu in post-apocalyptic North Africa. While attempting to master the powers that are growing inside of her, she embarks on a journey to defeat her hated sorcerer father while becoming the instrument of prophetic deliverance for a land of oppressed people.

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explored the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. Written by Deesha Philyaw, the different generations of women find themselves caught between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions. With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.

Stories are portals we can crawl into and land soft,” wrote the executive producer on Instagram. “So excited to partner with the incredible folks at @hbo + @hbomax & it’s a gift to already working with astounding authors on adaptions of their work! Thankful… & there’s a lot more to share.”

Congratulations Tessa Thompson!

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