Onyx Collective is Developing Sheba Drama From Azie Tasfai, Chantelle Wells — Ryan Coogler to EP


Onyx Collective ordered the scripted drama series Sheba into development.

Chantelle Wells and Azie Tesfai co-created the hour-long drama that explores the rise to power of the Queen of Sheba. She was the first queen on the continent of Africa as she seeks to unite the nation we now know as Ethiopia. Her efforts turned it into one of the richest, most formidable kingdoms in the world. Inspired by true events, we follow Makeda into a world of danger, deceit and political intrigue as she is forced to step into a role that no one, including her, ever imagined as the Queen of Sheba.

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Wells and Tesfai are exec produce alongside Ryan Coogler and his Proximity Media’s Kalia King, Sev Ohanian and Zinzi Coogler. Tesfai, who is also writing The Chase for NBC, came up with the idea and brought it to Proximity with Wells then recruited to pen the script. Sheba is the first scripted series to stem from Coogler’s Proximity Media for its overall deal with Onyx

Tesfai is an actress, writer and social entrepreneur. Tesfai co-starred and wrote on CW’s “Supergirl” as ex-military psychologist Kelly Olsen and DC comics superhero “The Guardian.” She was also the first Ethiopian person to ever portray a comic superhero on screen. Her other credits include Jane the Virgin and writing a pilot, The Chase, which is in development at NBC.

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Wells is an Emmy(R)-nominated writer and producer, most recently on Marvel’s upcoming limited series “Echo” for Disney+. Wells credits also include Showtime’s hit drama Yellowjackets, Jane the Virgin, and Good Girls.

Onyx, which was launched in early 2021 and is fronted by Freeform president Duncan, is the Disney-based brand that counts scripted efforts including The Hair Tales, Reasonable Doubt, Mahershala Ali’s The Plot and Unprisoned, all for Hulu. In addition to Coogler, the studio counts overall deals with the likes of Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi), Prentice Penny (Insecure), Natasha Rothwell and Yara Shahidi (Grown-ish), among others.

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