Being Mary Jane star Gabrielle Union has teamed with Rebel Maverick and Amyale to secure the rights to Juleah Del Rosario’s debut novel, 500 Words Or Less, a young adult fiction which will be adapted into a feature.
Union will produce the project under her I’ll Have Another Productions banner, with Holly Shakoor Fleischer overseeing development on behalf of the company. Manaal Khan and Matt Nicholas will be producing for Amyale and Rebel Maverick, respectively.
“Gabrielle Union has championed the YA genre for years, giving us some of our all-time favorites, and we couldn’t think of a better collaborator for this unique and poetic coming of age story,” said Khan and Nicholas.
Written entirely in verse, the book, which was released last week via Simon Pulse, centers on Nic Chen, a Chinese-American high school senior who attempts to salvage her reputation among her Ivy League-obsessed classmates by writing their college admission essays and in the process learns big truths about herself.
Production companies Kronicle Media, Amyale and Rebel Maverick have partnered to develop the YA fantasy novel “Empire of Sand” by Tasha Suri as a TV series, Variety has learned exclusively.
The novel by first-time author Suri is centers on Mehr, the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother–a member of a race of nomads persecuted for the magic in their blood. Mehr finds herself at the center of a deadly struggle for power after the Emperor and his mystics discover she has inherited her mother’s abilities to compel the dreams of sleeping gods. She must use every ounce of heart, will, and power she possesses to overcome their tyranny and save her people from extinction.
“Charm City Kings” producer Caleeb Pinkett has teamed up with production company Rebel Maverick for a film based on Alyssa Keli Rose’s Medium article “The Dunbar Heist,” Variety has learned exclusively.
Pinkett, the brother of Jada Pinkett Smith, will produce the project with Clarence Hammond and Dougie Cash. Rebel Maverick’s Matt Nicholas and Nastassja Kayln will also be producing, with Jane Kim Yang overseeing for their company. Norman Towns (“Insecure”) brought in the project and will be executive producing.
Nicholas and Kayln are adapting the script with screenwriter Leon Langford.
The 1997 robbery took place at the Dunbar Armored facility in Los Angeles — five men stole $18.9 million in under 30 minutes. Allen Pace III, a fired employee of the Dunbar depot, was the mastermind who planned the robbery for two years and recruited four of his closest friends. After four years of thwarting law enforcement, the scheme fell apart after one of the robbers, Eugene Lamar Hill, gave a real estate broker a stack of cash bound together with the original currency straps.
Pace was sentenced in 2001 to 24 years in federal prison.
“What really drove us to want to bring this true story to the big screen is our love for heists and also, most importantly, seeing someone finally come out on top after always being at the bottom of the barrel. That was and is Allen Pace III,” the producers said in a joint statement.