Reese Witherspoon, Mila Kunis Series in Development at ABC
Reese Witherspoon and Mila Kunis are getting behind the camera for two potential ABC series. The network is developing dramas with both women attached as exec producers, Variety has learned.
Kunis will serve as an EP on the television adaptation of “Black Stiletto,” based on the novels of the same name, while Witherspoon will work on an untitled romantic mystery from “Cheers” alum Rob Long.
“Black Stiletto,” inspired by Raymond Benson’s book series, follows a young woman’s evolution into a modern day hero when a family secret from the past is revealed and puts the only family she’s ever known in imminent danger.
Kunis will exec produce by way of her Orchard Farm Productions banner with her partners Cami Curtis, Susan Curtis, and Lisa Sterbakov, plus Tony Eldridge and Nancy Moonves. Kunis inked a first-look deal with ABC Studios, which will produce “Black Stiletto,” in late 2014 when she launched her production company. Scribe Javier Grillo Marxuach (“Lost,” “The 100”) sold the script to ABC.
For Kunis, “Black Stiletto” marks her television producing debut. The “Black Swan” and “That ’70s Show” alum was a producer on the 2014 flick “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn.”
Witherspoon will exec produce an untitled Rob Long drama, along with her Pacific Standard production company partner Bruna Papandrea, and “Lord of the Rings” producer Rick Porras, who will all serve as non-writing EPs. Long, who penned the script, is also exec producing.
The potential series is a romantic mystery involving a billionaire who’s newly acquitted for the murder of his wife, her lover, and the female detective who almost succeeded in putting him away.
Like Kunis, for Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard shingle, the ABC project also marks a new foray into television. The company, which was behind movies “Wild” and “Gone Girl,” is also producing HBO’s upcoming miniseries “Big Little Lies,” in which Witherspoon will co-star with Nicole Kidman. On the film side, earlier today, Variety reported that Pacific Standard is developing Jane Harper’s Australian crime thriller “The Dry.”
Last week, at Variety‘s bi-annual Power of Women event where Witherspoon was a presenter, the Oscar-winning actress and producer spoke about the importance of female roles behind the camera and women funding their own projects.
Orchard Farm Productions is repped by CAA and Patti Felker; Grillo Marxuach is repped by ICM; Eldridge and Moonves are repped by CAA. Witherspoon is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush and Kaller.