Emmy Winner Nicole Kassell Boards as Lead Director on Sister’s Darkly Comic Series “The Baby”





Emmy Winner Nicole Kassell Boards as Lead Director on Sister’s Darkly Comic Series “The Baby” for Sky and HBO
Also confirmed are writers Sophie Goodhart, Kara Smith, Anchuli Felicia King and Susan Stanton who join Siân Robins-Grace in the writers’ room with Bisha K. Ali as consultant.
[via press release from Sky]
Emmy Winner Nicole Kassell Boards as Lead Director on Sister’s Darkly Comic Series The Baby for Sky and HBO

Sky and HBO have today announced that DGA and Emmy Award winner Nicole Kassell (Watchmen, The Leftovers) will board the Sky/HBO co-production The Baby as lead director. Kassell will also serve as an Executive Producer on the eight-episode first season. The darkly comic horror is produced by global content company SISTER (Giri/Haji, Chernobyl, Gangs of London) and Proverbial Pictures.

Also confirmed are writers Sophie Goodhart (Sex Education, My Brother Blind) Kara Smith (Kaos, Apple Tree House) Anchuli Felicia King (White Pearl, Golden Shield) and Susan Stanton (HBO’s Emmy-winning Succession) who join Siân Robins-Grace (Kaos, Sex Education) in the writers’ room with Bisha K. Ali (Ms.Marvel, Sex Education) as consultant. The team are set to gleefully deconstruct the ‘joy of motherhood’ and explore the powerful anxiety of whether or not to have children.

Questioning who gets to choose and who doesn’t, The Baby is a funny, raw examination of motherhood as an institution: a set of unspoken and often horrifying rules that affect women differently depending on how they’re viewed by society. If you’re not scared by that, you should be. 

Nicole Kassell said: “I am beyond honoured and thrilled to be reuniting with HBO and joining SKY and this incredible team to bring THE BABY to fruition. I read Sian’s brilliant script early in lock down, and it cut straight through the noise and anxiety of our times, to take me on a wild, zany ride with wonderfully complex women grappling with the toughest of decisions any of us are lucky enough to make – to have or not have a child. Embracing comedy AND horror the show catapults us through an incredible adventure all while tackling the real-life explosions that the question of procreation can have on the self, family and friendships. To be working with the powerhouse producers that are SISTER, all women whose work and careers I have long admired, is a life-long dream. I’m ever grateful to have Sian, Lucy, and Sister embrace my vision and trust me with their BABY.”  

Siân Robins-Grace and Lucy Gaymer said: “We can’t believe our luck that Nicole’s joining us on The Baby – her body of work speaks for itself. She’s a spectacular collaborator and creative, and working with her is an education. Our phenomenal team of writers are bringing the full force of their talent to the story. We’re surrounded by creative and technical brilliance, basically.”

The eight-episode first season will be produced by SISTER and Proverbial Pictures and Executive Produced by Jane Featherstone (Chernobyl, GiriHaji), Carolyn Strauss (Chernobyl, Game of Thrones), Naomi de Pear (The Power, Flowers), Katie Carpenter (Landscapers, The Bisexual), Siân Robins-Grace (Kaos, Sex Education) and Nicole Kassell (Watchmen, The Leftovers) with Lucy Gaymer (credits as Production Manager include Gangs of London, Liar) producing. The Baby is Robins-Grace’s screenwriting debut, following her work on critically-acclaimed hit Sex Education which she developed with Creator Laurie Nunn.

The Baby was commissioned for Sky by Zai Bennett, Sky UK’s Managing Director of Content and Cameron Roach, Director of Drama at Sky Studios, with Gabriel Silver, Senior Commissioning Editor at Sky Studios, as the commissioning editor. The series is commissioned for HBO by Casey Bloys and Amy Gravitt. The series is a co-production between Sky and HBO and will be filmed in the UK in 2021.

About Nicole Kassell

Award-winning director and producer Nicole Kassell is known for her bold aesthetic and dynamic visuals that have made her one of Hollywood’s most in-demand filmmakers today. Kassell most recently directed the pilot, second, and eighth episode HBO’s critically acclaimed series WATCHMEN, in addition to executive producing the entire season. For WATCHMEN, she won the 2020 DGA award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series, 2020 Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series and was nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series for the show’s pilot episode. Nicole has directed the TNT pilot CLAWS and episodes of THE LEFTOVERS, WEST WORLD, CASTLE ROCK, THE AMERICANS, AMERICAN CRIME, VINYL, BETTER CALL SAUL, THE KILLING, THE FOLLOWING, and RECTIFY. Nicole’s first feature film THE WOODSMAN was co-written by Kassell and Steven Fechter, premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival, was distributed by Newmarket Films, and continued on to win multiple awards. Next up, Kassell will direct the feature film SILVER SEAS for Participant Media.

About Siân Robins-Grace

Siân acted as Co-Executive Producer for showrunner Charlie Covell on her upcoming Netflix series Kaos. Prior to this Siân worked at Eleven as Head of Development where she developed the hit Netflix series Sex Education with Creator Laurie Nunn and worked on Sky hit series The Enfield Haunting.

About Lucy Gaymer

Lucy has been working as a freelance Line Producer/Production Manager. Previous credits include The Witchfinder (BBC2), Wonderdate (BBC3), Living in Fear (Sky), Gangs of London (Sky), Liar (ITV) and True Horror (C4). She also worked in house at Carnival (Downton, The Last Kingdom, Stan Lee) and Eleven (Sex Education, Gap Year, The Enfield Haunting).

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our 24 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.

Our technology, including the market leading Sky Q, connects people to everything they love – TV, music, games, online video, fitness and educational content, all in one place, easy. Our streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, I Hate Suzie and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, while Sky Arts, the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel, makes the arts accessible for everyone. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity and we’ve put in place a new programme to invest £30million across our markets over the next three years to tackle racial injustice. 

About HBO

HBO(R) is one of the most respected and innovative entertainment brands in the world, serving iconic, award-winning programming to more than 38 million U.S. subscribers* through HBO and the direct-to-consumer streaming platform, HBO Max(R). A subsidiary of WarnerMedia, HBO is the world’s most successful pay TV service with an extensive array of programming that includes some of the most notable television titles, including dramas like “Succession,” “Watchmen,” “Westworld,” “Big Little Lies,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Sopranos,” “Band of Brothers” and “The Wire,” as well as comedy series “Barry,” “Insecure” and “Sex and the City.” In the United States, HBO is available across multiple platforms including HBO On Demand(R) and HBO Max. Internationally, HBO branded services are available in more than 85 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. HBO and Cinemax programming is also sold into more than 155 countries and territories worldwide. *Subscriber number as of October 22, 2020

About SISTER

SISTER was co-founded by Elisabeth Murdoch, Stacey Snider and Jane Featherstone to develop, produce and invest in visionary creators. SISTER builds upon Featherstone’s Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning scripted indie, Sister Pictures, as a new independent global studio with offices in London and LA. It unites the expertise of the founders alongside a team of renowned creatives to make breakout stories across all forms of media. As well as producing hit shows including Chernobyl (Sky/HBO) and Giri/Haji (BBC/ Netflix), SISTER has made a series of bold investments in new creator-led businesses including Zando, an ambitious new publishing venture from Molly Stern, The Springhill Company, founded by LeBron James and MaverickCarter, Campside Media, a podcast studio, and AWA Studios, a comic book and digital media publisher.



Gunpowder & Sky’s Dust Teams with Balboa Productions to Develop Sci-Fi Sports Drama Series, “Meshed”





Gunpowder & Sky’s Dust Teams with Balboa Productions to Develop Sci-Fi Sports Drama Series, “Meshed”
Based on the short story by Rich Larson and set in the not-so-distant future, the series is centered around Mesh technology which allows for an immersive experience of professional basketball through the eyes of its athletes.
[via press release from Gunpowder & Sky]
GUNPOWDER & SKY’S DUST TEAMS WITH BALBOA PRODUCTIONS TO DEVELOP SCI-FI SPORTS DRAMA SERIES, “MESHED”

Edward Ricourt Signed On To Write

LOS ANGELES, CA – December 1, 2020 – Gunpowder & Sky’s sci-fi label DUST announced today that they have teamed with Balboa Productions, helmed by Sylvester Stallone and Braden Aftergood, to develop and executive produce “Meshed”, a sci-fi sports drama to be written by Edward Ricourt (“Jessica Jones”, “Wayward Pines”, “Raising Dion”).

“Rich Larson’s visionary short story sits at the cross-section of two very prescient ideas: the role of technology in enhancing athletic achievement, and the increasingly immersive world of spectator sport,” said Braden Aftergood, Partner at Balboa Productions. “Sylvester Stallone and I are honored to be partnered with Gunpowder & Sky and Ed Ricourt on this incredibly relevant project.”

Based on the short story, ‘Meshed’, by Rich Larson and set in the not-so-distant future, the series is centered around Mesh technology which allows for an immersive experience of professional basketball through the eyes of its athletes. Mesh enhances the game for viewers while commoditizing the lives of its players. The show will explore the intersection of sports, sponsorship, friendship, global entertainment and winning at all costs.

“One of my favorite things about ‘Meshed’, and science fiction in general, is that oftentimes it’s prophetic,” said Eric Bromberg, SVP of Development, Gunpowder & Sky. “This prescient series examines the future of sports in our society, and what a dream it is to craft such a show alongside Ed Ricourt and Balboa Productions.”

This news comes on the heels of a series of announcements from Gunpowder & Sky. Last month, in partnership with Hulu, Gunpowder & Sky released 69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez, a true crime documentary about the rise and fall of Tekashi69, one of the most controversial figures in contemporary pop culture, now available exclusively on Hulu. On November 12th, Gunpowder & Sky’s DUST announced that they are developing “Moreau”, a sci-fi TV series that puts a modern spin on the classic novel, “The Island of Dr. Moreau”, by H.G. Wells, and signed Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class, Thor, Rim Of The World, “Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous”, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) to write the series. Recently, Gunpowder & Sky’s DUST announced that they teamed up with John Wick creator Derek Kolstad, John Davis (Predator), and Black Label Media (Sicario, La La Land) on Time Agent, a high-octane time travel feature film. In September, DUST announced that they have partnered with legendary filmmaker, Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Encounters at the End of the World, Into The Inferno, Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds) and his son, Rudolph Herzog (How to Fake a War, The Heist) to produce Last Exit: Space, a new, out-of-this-world documentary exploring mankind’s push to colonize space. In September, DUST launched season three of its hit “DUST” podcast series, starring and executive produced by Emmy Award-nominated Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, 6 Underground, “Macbeth”) and co-stars Academy Award-nominated Toni Collette (“United States of Tara”, Hereditary, The Sixth Sense), which is the #1 fiction podcast on Apple.

ABOUT GUNPOWDER & SKY

Gunpowder & Sky is an independent studio that creates and distributes feature films, series, short form content, podcasts and channels, bridging digital and traditional entertainment.

Since its inception in 2016, Gunpowder & Sky has released more than 30 feature films and series, more than 750 short films in theatres, on TVOD and on leading platforms such as HBO, Netflix, MTV, Hulu, Sky, Showtime, Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, Quibi, Audible and Discovery.

Notable films and series include 69: The Saga Of Daniel Hernandez, Her Smell, Everybody’s Everything, Prospect, Sea Fever, The Little Hours, Cam, Hearts Beat Loud, Lords of Chaos, Tragedy Girls, Betting on Zero, Summer of 84, Villains, Survive, 50 States of Fright and Drawn & Recorded.

With a collective audience of more than 65M monthly unique viewers, Gunpowder & Sky also owns and operates content brands that include DUST, the number one free sci-fi channel; ALTER, a leading horror brand, and CUT, an unscripted & comedy brand that is home to the successful formats “Truth or Drink” and “Fear Pong”. DUST, ALTER and CUT are presently distributed on platforms such as Apple, Amazon, Comcast, Sling, Roku, Samsung, Vizio TV, Xfinity Flex, YouTube, Facebook, AT&T, DirecTV, Sinclair, Samsung TV Plus and Instagram.

Gunpowder & Sky also recently launched its premium audio studio, and in less than one year has established a leading position in music and sci-fi, claiming #1 fiction podcast on Apple and the #1 podcast on Audible.

With offices in Los Angeles and New York, Gunpowder & Sky was founded by Van Toffler and Floris Bauer, in partnership with The Chernin Group and AT&T.



Gunpowder & Sky’s Dust Develops “Moreau”





Gunpowder & Sky’s Dust Develops “Moreau”, A TV Series with a Modern Spin on the H.G. Wells Classic Novel “The Island of Dr. Moreau”
Zack Stentz is attached to write the proposed series.
[via press release from Gunpowder & Sky]
GUNPOWDER & SKY’S DUST DEVELOPS “MOREAU”, A TV SERIES WITH A MODERN SPIN ON THE H.G. WELLS CLASSIC NOVEL “THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU”

Zack Stentz Signed On To Write

LOS ANGELES, CA – November 12, 2020 – Gunpowder & Sky’s sci-fi label DUST announced today that they are developing “Moreau”, a sci-fi TV series that puts a modern spin on the classic novel, “The Island of Dr. Moreau”, by H.G. Wells. Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class, Thor, Rim Of The World, “Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous”, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) is attached to write the series.

“The double helix wasn’t even a twinkle in Watson & Crick’s eye when H.G. Wells first wrote ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’, but his 1896 novel proved astonishingly prescient about how unlocking the secrets of DNA would open the door to humanity playing God with the natural world in strange and frightening ways,” said Stentz. “And now, in the shadow of the CRISPR revolution, it felt like the perfect time to revisit Moreau and bring it into our own 21st Century world of transgenic animals, designer babies and other scientific advances Wells never could have dreamed of. I’m delighted to be working with Eric, Geoff & the Gunpowder & Sky team to welcome a whole new generation to the good doctor’s terrifying island.”

“Moreau” focuses on world-renowned scientist Dr. Jessica Moreau, whose pioneering work in genetic engineering catches the eye of a billionaire backer willing to stop at nothing to reach the next step of human evolution.

“Zack took a time-honored classic and brought it into the 21st century,” said Eric Bromberg, SVP, Gunpowder & Sky. “Together, we’re creating a story that’s scarily befitting of today’s world, filled with seemingly limitless, and oftentimes alarming, scientific advancements. Frankenstein and Doudna have nothing on Jessica Moreau.”

Stentz is repped by Circle of Confusion, a leading management and production company that partnered with Gunpowder & Sky in April to develop and produce feature films and series that are sourced from writers, directors and producers who have had their work released on DUST or ALTER, Gunpowder & Sky’s sci-fi and horror brands, respectively.

“This series gives us a chance to work with Zack, one of the most prolific writers in the business,” said Geoffrey James Clark, Executive Producer, Gunpowder & Sky. “We couldn’t have genetically engineered a better writer for this project and can’t wait to take sci-fi fans on a wild ride with Zack driving.”

This news comes on the heels of a series of announcements from Gunpowder & Sky. Recently, Gunpowder & Sky’s DUST announced that they teamed up with John Wick creator Derek Kolstad, John Davis (Predator), and Black Label Media (Sicario, La La Land) on Time Agent, a high-octane time travel feature film. In September, DUST announced that they have partnered with legendary filmmaker, Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Encounters at the End of the World, Into The Inferno, Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds) and his son, Rudolph Herzog (How to Fake a War, The Heist) to produce Last Exit: Space, a new, out-of-this-world documentary exploring mankind’s push to colonize space. In September, DUST launched season three of its hit “DUST” podcast series, starring and executive produced by Emmy Award-nominated Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, 6 Underground, “Macbeth”) and co-stars Academy Award-nominated Toni Collette (“United States of Tara”, Hereditary, The Sixth Sense), which is the #1 fiction podcast on Apple. In July, Gunpowder & Sky acquired the worldwide rights – from the producers of “The Last Dance” – to the UFC inception documentary UFC 1: Origins of the Octagon. Premiering this fall, the feature film traces the roots of the pro-MMA league back to its tumultuous first event in 1993. Gunpowder & Sky’s DUST also launched the first-ever live streaming premiere of the critically-acclaimed sci-fi/thriller, Sea Fever, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and is now available on Hulu.

ABOUT DUST

DUST is the first premium sci-fi entertainment brand and channel that reaches fans across all platforms, giving voice to both emerging and established filmmakers. From timeless classics to cutting-edge movies, series, short films and podcasts, DUST acquires, produces and distributes all content types.

Since its inception, DUST released the critically-acclaimed sci-fi/thriller, Sea Fever which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and is now available on Hulu; released three seasons of its hit “DUST” podcast series, starring and executive produced by Emmy Award-nominated Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, 6 Underground, “Macbeth”) and co-stars Academy Award-nominated Toni Collette (“United States of Tara”, Hereditary, The Sixth Sense), and is the #1 fiction podcast on Apple; the feature film Prospect starring Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian”, “Narcos”, “Game of Thrones”, Equalizer 2), which also premiered in the U.S. on Hulu and internationally on Netflix; “The Time Agent” a Korean short film which DUST is now developing into a feature film in partnership with John Davis (Predator franchise, iRobot, Waterworld, the upcoming Jungle Cruise), and Black Label Media (La La Land, Sicario) and written by Derek Kolstad (John Wick franchise). DUST has also released Small Soldiers, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, Escape from LA, Paul Feig’s “Other Space”, the Star Trek movies, Galaxy Quest, “The Invisible Man”, “Roswell”, Total Recall, A Boy and His Dog, Tokyo!, Saturn 3, “Logan’s Run”, “Psychic Investigators”, Coneheads, and nearly a 1000 short films including Bad Peter directed by Zach Strauss and starring Golden-Globe nominee Frankie Shaw (“SMILF”); Zero, directed by the Brothers Lynch and starring Bella Ramsey (“Game of Thrones”); George Lucas 1967 short film, “Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB”; Robert Zemeckis’ 1972 student short film “The Lift; Rian Johnson’s student short film “Evil Demon Golf Ball From Hell”.

With more than 20M monthly uniques, DUST reaches viewers across multiple platforms including Apple, Amazon / IMDb TV, Redbox, Roku, Peacock, Samsung, Sinclair, Sling, Vizio, Xfinity and all major podcast platforms.



Video: “A Discovery of Witches” – Series 2 – First Look Trailer





Video: “A Discovery of Witches” – Series 2 – First Look Trailer
Take an exclusive first look at Series 2, returning in January 2021.
[via press release from Sky]
A Discovery Of Witches | Series 2 | First Look Trailer

Take an exclusive first look at Series 2, A Discovery Of Witches, returning to Sky One, 8 January 2021.