Malala Yousafzai – activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and self-confessed “Stranger Things” fan – is in production on her first project for Apple, ‘Variety’ has revealed.
Her production company Extracurricular has partnered with the indie studio A24 for a still-untitled feature documentary on the legendary “haenyeo” society of fisherwomen, who live on South Korea’s Jeju Island.
The Apple Original Films title is directed by Peabody Award nominee Sue Kim (“The Speed Cubers”), and is the first project to go into production from Extracurricular’s partnership with Apple TV+, which was struck in March 2021, notes ‘Variety’.
Malala unveiled her first slate of film and TV projects for Apple TV+ through Extracurricular. Headlining the slate is the feature film adaptation of Elaine Hsieh Chou’s acclaimed book ‘Disorientation’, which was published earlier this year. A sharp-edged, celebrated satire, ‘Disorientation’ is about a college student’s revealing dissertation on a young poet.
The project will be produced by ‘Don’t Look Up’ helmer Adam McKay’s Hyperobject Industries, with Stephanie Mercado and Todd Schulman overseeing. A director has not yet been attached.
Extracurricular is also working on a scripted series based on the New York Times best-selling debutante writer Asha Lemmie’s coming-of-age novel ‘Fifty Words for Rain’, about a woman’s search for acceptance in post-World War II Japan.
The lead casting for both projects will introduce new talent, Extracurricular’s head of production Erika Kennair told Variety. “Just by the nature of it, the lead of ’50 Words for Rain’ is a half-Black half-Japanese woman. And unless Naomi Osaka wants to start acting, we’re going to have to discover that woman, which is really exciting.”
Speaking to ‘Variety’, Malala said: “What I hope to bring to the table are the voices of women of color, and debut writers and Muslim directors and writers. I hope we can have a wide range of perspectives and we challenge some of the stereotypes we hold in our societies.”
She added: “I also hope that the content is entertaining and that people fall in love with the characters and have the best time together.”