Greg Berlanti, the prolific producer behind Riverdale, The Flash and Supergirl, has inked a deal to adapt the New York Times best-selling young adult novel The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue for HBO Max.
Deadline can reveal that Berlanti Productions’ adaptation of Mackenzi Lee’s period romantic adventure could be one of the four movies the company has signed-up to make for HBO Max, which launches in May 2020. The first, UNpregnant, recently wrapped production.
Welsh writer Matthew Barry is attached to The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue. He has written and produced two seasons of Netflix drama, Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, after previously working on British shows including EastEnders and Death In Paradise. Berlanti and Sarah Schechter will serve as producers, while Michael McGrath is the executive producer.
The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue follows bisexual British Lord, Henry Monty Montague, who embarks on a grand tour of 18th-century Europe with his best friend and secret crush, Percy. But Montague’s final blowout before he his expected to take over the family estate turns into a harrowing manhunt as the roguish aristocrat’s reckless and hedonistic decisions take an ugly turn.
The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue was published in 2017 by HarperCollins and Katherine Tegen Books, and Lee followed the book up last year with The Lady's Guide To Petticoats And Piracy. Another in the series, The Gentleman's Guide To Getting Lucky, will be published in December, with a fourth, The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks, slated for 2020.
Berlanti signed a $300M overall development and production deal with Warner Bros. Television last year, which included a commitment to make shows for all platforms, including broadcast, premium and basic cable, and streaming, via Warner Bros. Television, Warner Horizon Scripted Television or the group's digital studio, Blue Ribbon Content.
Berlanti is currently expanding his screen interpretations of the DC Comics Universe for HBO Max with a Strange Adventures and a Green Lantern show, the latter of which he promised would be the “biggest DC show ever made.” Another of his projects for HBO Max includes Equal, a four-part docuseries chronicling landmark events and the forgotten heroes of the LGBTQ+ movement.
Following Berlanti Productions’ big slate expansion over the past several years to become the most prolific producer in television, the company founded by Greg Berlanti is also expanding its top executive suite.
Sarah Schechter, who has served as President of Berlanti Productions for the past six years, overseeing both television and film, has been elevated to the newly created position of Chairwoman and Partner.
Former AMC Networks and Fox Broadcasting Company President David Madden has joined Berlanti Productions as its new President, spearheading the company's television operations. He is expected to start next week and will report to Berlanti and Schechter.
Schechter has been instrumental in the growth of Berlanti Productions since joining the company in February 2014. At the time, Berlanti Productions had two series on the air, Arrow and The Tomorrow People at the CW, and was developing the pilot for The Flash. As of February 2020, Berlanti Productions has a record 20 television series across seven outlets, including 19 live-action scripted series and one unscripted docuseries. On the film side, Schechter produced Joe Wright's Pan, as well as the upcoming Shawn Levy—directed Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds.
“Sarah is simply the best at what she does,” Berlanti said. “I am inspired by her leadership, passion, smarts and vision every day. I'm grateful for everything she has done for this company and I'm beyond thrilled all of our shows, and everyone who works so hard on them, will continue to benefit from her immense talent for years to come.”
Following the rapid TV expansion of Berlanti Production, Schechter, who comes from a feature background, will be shifting her attention to ramping up the company’s film output, with Madden spearheading the ongoing TV efforts.
“I've admired Dave since we first worked together for his creative insight and his warm and beloved leadership style,” Berlanti said. “Sarah and I couldn't be happier that he has chosen to join us as we continue to build the TV side of our company.”
Berlanti and Schechter previously worked with Madden while he was President of Entertainment at Fox Broadcasting. Berlanti Prods. developed multiple projects at the network while Madden was there, including Riverdale and Black Lightning, neither of which went forward at Fox but both became successful series on the CW and streaming.
Berlanti Productions' television business is based at Warner Bros. Television Group, under a mega exclusive multi-year overall deal that runs through 2024.
“Berlanti Productions is synonymous with creative excellence, and all of us at Warner Bros. are both honored and privileged to be associated with Greg and his entire...
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below: