Hannah Waddingham and Octavia Spencer are teaming up to kick some butt together on TV. The two actors have signed on to star in an action-adventure series based on an original idea by exec producer Tessa Coates (“Feel Good,” “Ladhood”) for Amazon’s Prime Video.
Skydance Television is behind the show, along with Andy and Barbara Muschietti’s Double Dream shingle and Spencer’s Orit Entertainment (which has a first-look deal with Skydance; this is the first project to come out of that pact). The untitled series will produce eight episodes for Prime Video across the world. Given the star power attached, the project was the subject of a major bidding war — it’s believed that at least six streamers made offers, with four buying the show in the room, until it landed at Amazon.
In the show, Waddingham plays Judith, who has secretly been working as a highly trained assassin. That’s a double life that Judith’s best friend Debbie (played by Spencer) knows nothing about — until a hit goes wrong. Now Judith and Debbie are on the run, aiming to stay one step ahead of a mysterious enemy. And while they try to figure out what’s going on, they also have to fix their now-ruptured friendship.
“I was in as soon as I heard Tessa’s stunning pitch. To be able to dive into a role like Debbie is rare, and working with Hannah to bring this unique friendship to life is a dream,” Spencer said in a statement. ““We knew we had something special with Skydance and Double Dream, and now that we have a home at Amazon, our vision has become a reality.”
Added Waddingham: ““I’m not gonna lie, a few expletives fell out of my face at the prospect of working with the magnificent Ms. Spencer, Tessa Coates’ hugely energetic, exhilarating script, Skydance and Double Dream. To then see the immediate excited response from a mighty beast like Amazon… It’s all just incredibly exciting, and I can’t wait to get our collective teeth into it.”
Coates will executive produce the series with Spencer, Brian Clisham and Stephanie Kluft for Orit Entertainment; Waddingham; Andy Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti and Irene Yeung for Double Dream; and David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Matt Thunell for Skydance Television. Mark Mikutowicz and Blair Bigelow developed the project for Skydance.
“The process of developing this series has been one of the most joyous of our careers, starting with the inimitable Tessa Coates. Tessa’s voice and vision lured our incredible producers, Barbara and Andy Muschietti, who were instrumental in developing the project, as well as the dream casting of Octavia Spencer and Hannah Waddingham,” said Skydance TV president Matt Thunell.
Skydance also has the series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” and “Reacher,” plus the upcoming “Cross,” at Prime Video.
Coincidentally, Waddingham and Spencer were both recently network mates at Apple TV+, where Waddingham earned accolades and Emmys for “Ted Lasso” and Spencer starred in (and exec produced) the critically acclaimed series “Truth Be Told.” Besides that show, Spencer’s busy Orit Ent. has been behind “Self-Made: Inspired by The Life of Madam C.J. Walker” and the docuseries “Lost Women of Highway 20” and “Feds.” Waddingham can currently be heard as a voice in Fox’s “Krapopolis” and seen in the Apple TV+ special “Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas.”
Coates hosts the podcast “Nobody Panic” and just wrapped touring her Edinburgh Fringe Festival solo show, “Get Your Tessa Coates You’ve Pulled.”
Waddingham is repped by Atlas Artists, CAA (US), CAM (UK) and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. Spencer is repped by CAA, Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. Coates is represented by WME (and Avalon in the UK). Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti are repped by WME.