Gripping, Sensual Novel Optioned for Television Series: Shawn Klomparens’ JESSICA Z. Treatment Brings Together a Group of Diversely Talented Collaborators

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“When I read the book, I immediately saw the possibility of this as a television show. The world that Klomparens creates, the visual elements of the book—the mix of random acts of violence, politics, art and eroticism—spoke to me and I could see the story arc very clearly,” said Jane Motz Hayes, producer.

Shawn Klomparens’ JESSICA Z. (Random House), in which a young women gets involved in a complex and erotic relationship with a mysterious artist, has just been optioned for development into a TV series, with Jane Motz Hayes (Berkeley Films Ltd) and Brandi-Ann Milbradt (Philms Pictures) producing, and Catherine McKenzie (author of the international bestsellers SPIN, ARRANGED and FORGOTTEN) adapting.

NYT Bestselling Author, Lisa Unger, wrote that in JESSICA Z., Klomparens “offers and intense and startling vision of the near future where a young woman struggles to find a roadmap for life beneath the thunderheads of terror, lust, and art. Perfectly capturing the ubiquitous sense of dread in a post-9/11 world dominated by violence and mass media, JESSICA Z. is gripping, unsettling and dreamlike.”

“When I read the book, I immediately saw the possibility of this as a television show. The world that Klomparens creates, the visual elements of the book—the mix of random acts of violence, politics, art and eroticism—spoke to me and I could see the story arc very clearly,” said Jane Motz Hayes, producer.

A fresh take on a coming-of-age story, the project is centered on a resilient female main character, a role that can sometimes be lacking in television today, said producer Brandi-Ann Milbradt. “I wanted to work on a project where the main protagonist is a strong woman trying to navigate her way through an uncertain world. I think audiences will find the ‘flash-sideways’ world Jessica lives in compelling – the story is told in a way that hasn’t been done before.”

Catherine McKenzie, who will be adapting the darkly-nuanced novel, is excited to be working on the project. “I love the book and feel a real connection to it. It’s a pleasure to be collaborating with such a talented group and to be working from such great source material,” said McKenzie.

Milbradt has been producing films and television for over 10 years, including series such as the award winning THE BUSINESS for IFC, and feature films such as THIS MOVIE IS BROKEN (SXSW) and HATLEY HIGH (Best Director and Best Screenplay, HBO US Comedy Arts Fest). Motz Hayes is a producer of both live action and interactive projects. Since 2002, she has produced live action shorts and documentaries (http://www.facebook.com/BerkeleyFilms), which have garnered numerous awards and screened at festivals such as Sundance and the World Wide Short Film Festival in Toronto. She’s presently co-producing the documentary TAKE ME TO THE RIVER and producing the feature film ALGONQUIN.

For more information on this development, please visit http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jessica-z-television-drama-357775.

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Diane Saarinen
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