By Will Ashton
Ava DuVernay’s work has exploded on the big screen these past few months with her Best Picture-nominee Selma, but it looks like the director is diverting her attentions to the small one for her next effort.
Deadline reports DuVernay is going to co-create the new series Queen Sugar with her Selma star and producer Oprah Winfrey on her channel OWN. In addition to creating, DuVernay will also serve as the show’s producer, writer and director. Winfrey, meanwhile, is going to executive produce and have a recurring role in the series.
This marks the first project Winfrey will act in on her network. Filming begins later this year, likely this fall. Queen Sugar is based on the book series by Natalie Baszile, whose first novel shares the name of the series, and follows a spiritual woman who leaves her upscale L.A. lifestyle to go to the center of Louisiana to claim a 800-acre sugar crane farm lend by her recently-deceased father.
“I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN,” Oprah Winfrey said to Deadline. “The story’s themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show.”
DuVernay confirmed the news when she tweeted the following:
Queen Sugar becomes the first OWN scripted series to not come from Tyler Perry. OWN has already scheduled a multi-year exclusive deal with the filmmaker.
There’s no word on how this new project is going to affect DuVernay’s other projects which were announced in the last couple weeks, which includes a Hurricane Katrina movie starring her Selma lead David Oyelowo.