Ava DuVernay Has A Romantic Drama Series On The Way Starring Lauren Ridloff And Joshua Jackson

If you're still devastated regarding the cancellation announcement of Ava DuVernay's animated "Wings of Fire" over at Netflix, hopefully the good news from Starz will help lift your spirits. As was first announced today, DuVernay is currently developing a romantic drama series for the premium cable network, with Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson starring. The untitled project was given a three-season script-to-series commitment, so it's clear that Starz thinks they've got a hit on their hands. If the development is greenlit, the new series would exist in three six-episode seasons.

The two leads are reuniting following their Broadway revival production of Mark Medoff's "Children of a Lesser God," which nabbed Ridloff a Tony nomination. The duo are said to play polar opposites on the series, described as being "one ambitious, one restless; one ready to commit, one commitment-phobic; one Black, one white; one deaf, one hearing — who are romantically drawn to one another in spite of all social assumptions and personal expectations."

Kat Candler of "Queen Sugar" fame is set to write the first episode, as well as showrun and executive produce. DuVernay, Ridloff, Jackson, and Array Filmworks president Paul Garnes will also serve as executive producers.

"On behalf of my producing partner Paul Garnes and everyone at Array Filmworks, I'm thrilled to develop this passion project with Lauren, Josh and Kat," said DuVernay in a statement. "Starz and Warner Bros. Television have made a bold production commitment to immediately explore three seasons, and we're revved up and ready to begin what I hope will be a beautiful journey for all involved."

Another trailblazing series for DuVernay

DuVernay's company Array Filmworks will oversee the writing on the series as well as producing along with Warner Bros. Television. Array Filmworks has an overall deal with Warner Bros. Television, and the unnamed project falls under that deal. Kathryn Tyus-Adair, the senior vice-president of Starz' original programming, will be overseeing the project on behalf of the network.

"There is nothing like this series on TV and we are thrilled to be in development with Ava, a trailblazer and unparalleled champion of diversity," Kathryn Busby, Starz president of original programming, said in a statement. "Lauren is a true inspiration and together with Joshua, a brilliant veteran actor, they will bring their incredible talents to this project — both in front of and behind the camera."

Busby also said that this series embodies the Starz #TakeTheLead mission. #TakeTheLead is the diversity initiative launched in February 2021 in collaboration with UCLA as part of an inclusion study.