My Entertainment’s One Foot Forward Inks Content Deals With Mark Wahlberg, Michael Sugar, Alan Zweibel, More – Deadline
EXCLUSIVE: My Entertainment’s recently launched division, formed to develop and produce premium, non-scripted content targeting the leading streaming services, has unveiled an impressive list of initial content deals and IP. Partners include Michael Sugar’s Sugar23 (Spotlight, Worth), Mark Wahlberg’s Unrealistic Ideas (HBO’s Wahl Street, McMillions), Laurent Bouzereau (HBO’s Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind, Netflix’s Five Came Back), original Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel (700 Sundays, Curb Your Enthusiasm, soon-to-be-released feature film Here Today), Jeremiah Crowell (Netflix’s Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, HBO Max/Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions’ Generation Hustle), Paul Pawlowski (Starz/Steven Soderbergh’s Leavenworth, UFC: Road to the Octagon) Emmy and Peabody Award-winner Dave Check (Starz/Steven Soderbergh’s Leavenworth, ESPN 30 for 30’s Brothers in Exile), and Scout Productions (4-part docuseries Equal for HBO Max, Emmy-winning Queer Eye for Netflix). The division is overseen by My Entertainment COO/Executive Producer Joe Townley.
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The announcement was made jointly Tuesday by My Entertainment President and Founder Michael Yudin and One Foot Forward Head of Development Joanna Zwickel.
Projects include Pellicano, a film chronicling the real-life story of Hollywood’s most sought-after private investigator, Anthony Pellicano, from Sugar23; Milk Carton Kids, a docuseries profiling four missing kid survivors who were returned safely after their photos were featured on milk cartons as part of a 1980s publicity campaign to help bring missing kids home, from Wahlberg’s Unrealistic Ideas; and Marge Schott, a sports documentary directed by Emmy winner Paul Pawlowski, about the first female baseball team owner and first woman to take a team to the World Series.
One Foot Forward also has struck a deal for the exclusive multimedia rights to Dorothy Carvello’s critically praised tell-all book Anything for a Hit: An A&R Woman’s Story of Surviving the Music Industry, about executive suite sexcapades at Atlantic Records and the toxic work culture in the music business.
“I’m incredibly proud of the tireless work Joanna and our team has poured into developing these shows and beginning to work with such outstanding partners to bring this compelling slate of new projects to life,” said Yudin. Knowing the ways of this industry as deeply as I do, it is amazing to me that all of this was accomplished in less than six months since we formed One Foot Forward.”
Added Zwickel, “From an international scam to issues of race, political controversy and the pursuit of human happiness, these riveting, ripped from the headlines stories are driven by access to the key players involved. One Foot Forward is thrilled to be in business with such top tier talent and eager to bring their unique points of view to the marketplace.”
Here’s a closer look at the initial One Foot Forward content deals:
Pellicano – Being developed with Sugar23 and to be directed by Laurent Bouzereau. This film will tell the behind-the-headlines personal, real-life story of Hollywood’s most sought-after private investigator, Anthony Pellicano. An original, classic American character, Pellicano will be revealed as much more than the person who found his way into the well-known Tinseltown scandals and stories you’ve read about. This will be a look into Pellicano’s ardent boss mentality and code, an ethic too far-fetched to invent— had it not been Hollywood who made it all true.
Milk Carton Kids – Series being developed Mark Wahlberg’s Unrealistic Ideas. In the early 80’s, milk cartons featured missing kids, in the hope that the widespread publicity would help bring them home. Out of hundreds of milk carton children, only a dozen are known to have been returned safely to their family because of a milk carton. This documentary series will feature the never before told story of four of these survivors.
Comedy docs — To be executive produced by 5-time Emmy Award and Tony Award-winner Alan Zweibel. Zweibel, utilizing his longtime industry relationships, will attach some of the biggest names in comedy to this series of 30 for 30 style documentaries that will apply a comedic tone to layered human interest pieces. Said Zweibel, “The first three documentaries are innovative in both subject matter and approach. While ‘Sick Humor’ will anecdotally deal with jokes and their beneficial medical effects, with ‘Hangover Cure’ we’ll tell the remarkable story of Martin Greenfield – the perfect example of the American dream as lived by a 93 year-old Auschwitz survivor who came to America as a young man and started a business where he eventually made custom clothing for six U.S. presidents, star athletes, as well as casts of hit TV shows and feature films. I’m excited by the team we’ve assembled to make these comedy documentaries reach fruition. I’ll have the privilege of working with Bill Scheft – a 16-time Emmy nominee for David Letterman and with Ferne Pearlstein – winner of the 2004 Sundance Cinematography Prize for Imelda, who has had four feature films premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Russian Roulette — To be directed by Jeremiah Crowell and co-produced by Xpedition. This series will offer a deep dive into the caper that saw a high-paid escort unwittingly post an Instagram photo of her billionaire client, which, in turn, opened up the door to a multi-national scandal pointing to Russian collusion in American politics.
Marge Schott — To be directed by Emmy Award-winner Paul Pawlowski. Former Cincinnati Reds star Eric Davis, who played during the Marge Schott era, is aboard as a consultant for this sports documentary which will examine the life and times of Schott, the first female baseball team owner and first woman to take a team to the World Series. Schott was a controversial character from the start – in the current political climate where players are taking a knee and long-standing sports organizations are changing their team names, it’s finally a good time for players to come forward with stories of the unsavory behavior they witnessed during their tenure. Marge’s notorious behavior of racism, anti-Semitism and general entitlement will be exposed in this layered portrait of one of baseball’s most shocking characters.
Happiness Project — In partnership with Emmy-winning Scout Productions and working in conjunction with the professor of Harvard’s most popular course, the series is based on the popular happiness-based curriculum combining the rigor of Ivy League studies with the personal stories and applications in everyday life.