Amazon Studios announced on Wednesday it has entered into a multiyear first look film deal with Viva Maude, the production company launched by acclaimed actress Tessa Thompson in 2020.
Under the new deal, Amazon Studios will have the first option to produce and distribute any films developed by Viva Maude over the next several years. The company is run by Thompson and producer Kishori Rajan, who joined as Senior Vice President of Development & Production in 2021.
The deal formalizes an existing collaboration between Viva Maude and Amazon Studios’ specialty film label, Orion Pictures. The two companies are currently in production on “Hedda,” a reimagining of Henrik Ibsen’s classic play “Hedda Gabler” that will star Thompson in the title role. “Hedda” is being written and directed by Nia DaCosta, the acclaimed filmmaker behind “Candyman” and “The Marvels.”
Via Maude is currently developing more than 20 feature films and television projects spanning different genres.
In announcing the deal, Amazon Studios executives Julie Rapaport, Head of Film Creative and Strategy at Amazon MGM Studios, and Alana Mayo, Head of Orion Pictures, praised Thompson’s “extraordinary talent” and said they looked forward to further partnerships with Viva Maude to develop “inclusive and impactful stories that uplift, inspire, and entertain.”
“Tessa Thompson is a true force and an extraordinarily talented actor and producer,” Rapaport and Mayo said in a statement. “As we continue production on ‘Hedda,’ we could not imagine a better time to formalize our relationship with Viva Maude. We look forward to continuing our work together to develop inclusive and impactful stories that uplift, inspire, and entertain.”
Thompson added: “I founded Viva Maude to create more room: room for our collaborators to think more boldly, room for artists to grow in new ways, room for dreaming bigger as to what a production company can do. Amazon MGM/Orion Pictures prove themselves time and time again to be true partners in creating ambitious work, and I’m thrilled for Viva Maude to have such thoughtful leadership in our corner.”
Thompson is best known for her acting work in films like “Creed,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” and “Selma,” but she has steadily ramped up her behind-the-scenes role as a producer in recent years. She launched Viva Maude with the goal of developing bold, genre-defying content.
Thompson is repped by WME, Mosaic, Jeff Bernstein at Jackoway Austen Tyerman, and Shelter PR.
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