Barack and Michelle Obama have revealed their first string of productions for Netflix which includes a project with author Michael Lewis.
The former President and First Lady signed a deal with Netflix in 2018 for a string of shows under their production company Higher Ground. The seven projects range from acquisitions to new material featuring fiction to non-fiction and content aimed at adults and at children, according to the Guardian.
“We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited about these projects,” Barack Obama said in a statement, as reported in Rolling Stone. “Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights, and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect and inspire us all.”
The offerings will reflect production Higher Ground’s core values of resilience, determination, hope and unity while lifting new voices and stories that inspire change, RS said.
The former First Couple are also set to work with The Big Short author Michael Lewis on a documentary series based on his book The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy (Allen Lane). The show will reportedly “aim to portray the importance of unheralded work done by everyday heroes guiding our government and safeguarding our nation”.
Their other projects include a feature film biopic of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, based on David W Blight’s Pulitzer-winning book Prophet of Freedom (Simon & Schuster), a pre-school series called "Listen to Your Vegetables and Eat Your Parents" about food, a scripted anthology series based on the New York Times column Overlooked and a drama series, "Bloom" set in the world of fashion in postwar New York.
"American Factory” which was acquired from the Sundance Festival, will be the first in the slate of shows, and is an acclaimed documentary American Factory exploring what happens when a Chinese billionaire opens a factory in Ohio. Another acquisition, still in production, is “Crip Camp”, a documentary about a summer camp for disabled teenagers.
“We love this slate because it spans so many different interests and experiences, yet it’s all woven together with stories that are relevant to our daily lives,” Michelle Obama said. “We think there’s something here for everyone – moms and dads, curious kids, and anyone simply looking for an engaging, uplifting watch at the end of a busy day. We can’t wait to see these projects come to life – and the conversations they’ll generate.”
The Higher Ground projects are currently in development and will be released over the next several years.
Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming (Penguin) took the Christmas number one spot, with the exceptional sales helping boost revenues at Penguin Random House worldwide in 2018.