Fresh off a host of television, film, and literary success, a dream team of producers and creatives has assembled to develop the hotly anticipated series, Roar. The series, which will be based on a novel by Cecilia Ahern of the same name, is the latest project to emerge from the production company headed by Bruna Papandrea, Made Up Stories. In addition to her guiding hand helping to lead the project, a host of experienced producers from the company and elsewhere have signed on to bring the concept to fruition. The team includes veteran producer Steve Hutensky, well-known actress/producer Nicole Kidman, and more. Read on for a look at the exciting new series and the pedigree of the team behind it.
Since the series is based on an upcoming novel, it is perhaps fitting to first focus on the book and author behind it. Roar, written by Cecilia Ahern, is set to hit bookshelves in the UK in the coming month, with a U.S. release slated for next year. Past releases by Ahern include best-sellers “P.S. I Love You,” “Love, Rosie,” and “Thanks for the Memories.” With a worldwide network of dedicated fans, her books, now numbering more than fifteen works, have earned a long run of acclaim.
With both “P.S. I love you” and “Love, Rosie” being made into successful film adaptations, she is also no stranger to adaptation. Her films have grossed nearly $200 million worldwide and have helped establish the author as a presence in international cinema. In addition to film work she has also previously collaborated in the realm of television, with her work appearing in multiple German series as well as the American sitcom “Samantha Who?” For these efforts and more, she has earned praise as both a talented author, television writer, and savvy producer of media and other content.
Book in Brief
The book set to be adapted in this latest television endeavor, “Roar,” is a collection of thirty stories focusing on a range of methods women use to overcome adversity. The tales focus on instances of compassion, wit, and resourcefulness to detail the lives of the women they chronicle. The situations explored in the novel are pulled straight from life and embody ideas that women everywhere can relate to. Topics covered include marriage, politics, career choices, and childrearing and tonally run the gambit of the mundane to the mysterious. Stories are a blend of reality and magical realism that helps to provoke the reader to step outside the everyday circumstances in which the characters find themselves.
Themes of the book tackle how women contend with obstacles of a variety of different kinds, and how their realities are shaped through those struggles. Throughout their travails, the characters’ perception of themselves evolve and many are able to tap into the power innate within themselves. While the stories vary from the unexplainable appearance of bite marks on skin to the return and exchange of an exceptionally boring husband, the book’s stories find commonality in their exploration of tales that provoke a woman to find inner strength and her primordial ability to roar.
Bruna Papandrea’s decision to produce the series builds on a career already littered with success. With a range of film hits that include “Wild,” “Warm Bodies,” and “Milk,” she has already shown herself more than capable of producing content with mainstream appeal. Her latest television project, “Big Little Lies” has proven to be a runaway hit as well with a litany of critical praise and awards to show for her efforts. With a second season now in the works for a release sometime next year, buzz over Papandrea and her recent works is reaching new highs.
Producing along with Papandrea on both “Big Little Lies” and the upcoming adaptation of “Roar” is Nicole Kidman. The actress/producer is well-known for her roles in films such as “Australia,” “Panic Room,” and “Eyes Wide Shut.” With an eye for television in recent years, she has starred in both “Big Little Lies” and “Top of the Lake.” Her success as a producer on the former has helped spur her forward into taking on new projects such as the recent Ahern novel adaptation.
Along with Papandrea and Kidman, the producer team is further filled out by industry veteran Steve Hutensky (Twitter). The longtime fixture at Made Up Stories, he has a history of experience in both the world of independent film as well as television. A notable first release of his film production company, Walk the Walk Entertainment, was the spiritual documentary “Wake Up.” That piece, which toured the country on an extensive promotional run upon its release, earned praise from audiences for its introspective look at a supernatural situation. The film chronicles the story of a man who one day finds himself with the ability to see the occult and other mystical phenomena to which only he is privy.
In addition to his work with Made Up Stories and Walk the Walk Entertainment, Hutensky spent a sizable portion of time as senior executive vice president and head of business affairs for Relativity Media. During his time with the entertainment company, he headed business and legal efforts related to the firm’s releases. He also had direct dealings with a variety of the company’s related efforts which included distribution, acquisition, and production. This past experience leaves him well placed to complement the work of the rest of the team on “Roar” and will help the development process move forward at an accelerated pace.
When a team of industry heavyweights collaborates on a new film or television effort, fans and peers alike take notice. Such is the case with the announcement surrounding the adaptation of the new Cecilia Ahern novel, “Roar.” With Bruna Papandrea and Nicole Kidman of “Big Little Lies” on board, the television pedigree of the project is already well-established. With the addition of Steve Hutensky of Made Up Stories, the team enlists the skills of a seasoned executive and producer to make progress on the emerging project. With expectations already high, attention is sure to stay focused on the series as it winds its way towards production.