John Legend’s Get Lifted and Nia Long are teaming up with Sony Pictures to bring Goldie Taylor’s 2018 bestseller Paper Gods to ABC.
Paper Gods spotlight the struggles and battles professionally and personally for Victoria Dobb. Dobb (Long) is the imperfectly complicated girl next door turned formidable mayor of Atlanta. Set in the world of politics and power, PAPER GODS directly confronts race, wealth and humanity, where every battle is a fight of her life.
Long will also executive produce the project that is now in development with John Legend’s Get Lifted co-founder Mike Jackson and showrunner Tash Gray.
“Victoria Dobbs is a beautifully flawed and complicated character,” Long said today of the timely series in a year of election and division. “I look forward to exploring her journey as a wife, mother and politician. Paper Gods highlights the profound impact Black women have on American politics and the world. Mike, John and Tash are my dream team!”
Tash Gray echoed Nia’s sentiments in a statement in regards to their new collaboration.
“Nia and I came together in remembrance of our friend, and my mentor, John Singleton. From that friendship blossomed an opportunity to tell a profound story that’s near to my heart,” the Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. writer added. “Both of us, girls from the hood, stand proud as strong Black women dedicated to telling the truth about our existence in a world that rarely champions or protects us. Yet, we continuously endeavor to save the world. I’m so happy and excited to work with amazing people to tell a layered story guaranteed to captivate audiences with Ms. Nia Long as our lead.”
The third novel by ex-political strategist and now Daily Beast editor-at-large Taylor, Paper Gods peels back the layers on the assassination in a church of Dobb’s mentor, a much-venerated congressman, to reveal a greater deception. Taylor is a producer on the small-screen adaptation. Production on Paper Gods is expected to begin later this year.
“This project has been a passion of ours for a long time and Nia’s commitment has never wavered,” Sony Pictures TV VP Drama Development Lauren Stein said. “When Tash signed on, it completed this great team. We are so happy to be moving forward with it at ABC.”
Get Lifted’s forthcoming projects include David E. Talbert’s holiday film Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, and the documentary Giving Voice. As well as the sports drama Signing Day in partnership with Steph Curry’s Unanimous Media for Sony Pictures, a female-fronted film written by Adam Hoff about a modern-day Jerry Maguire.
“We’re so thrilled to be able to bring this incredible world Goldie created to life,” said Get Lifted executives Jackson, Legend and Stiklorius. “It’s going to be an incredible journey working with Nia and Tash as we endeavor to learn more about this strong black female who’s incredibly human and nuanced.”
Nia Long starred in and executive produced Netflix’s Fatal Affair this summer and reunited with co-star Omar Epps after 20 years since their last film In Too Deep.