After making a big splash in the independent film community by personally financing, expertly producing, or generally saving art house driven films like “Killing Them Softly,” “The Master,” “American Hustle,” and the just announced Cannes-inclusion “Foxcatcher,” Megan Ellison is taking her first stab at television. Her company, Annapurna Pictures, is developing a TV series based around the lives of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich, two iconic Old Hollywood actresses whose lives intersected not only with each other but also many important figures of the 1930s and ’40s.
Angela Robinson (“True Blood”) and Alex Kondracke (“The L Word”), both of whom worked on HBO’s “Hung,” are writing the series with Ellison as executive producer and Annapurna’s Stephen Feder overseeing production as well as day-to-day operations.
“We’re so excited this project found a home at Annapurna,” Robinson and Kondracke told Variety. “We couldn’t imagine a better partner than Megan Ellison and the folks at Annapurna to help us bring this series to life.”
Few could. Ellison and Annapurna have made a name for themselves in Hollywood in a very short time period as the go-to place for auteur-focused, content-driven productions. Ellison famously stepped in at the literal last minute to finance a deal for “Lawless,” the Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman film, even though she crashed her car on the way to closing the deal.
Though no talent has been announced for the project, there will be plenty of familiar names in front of the camera no matter what. The untitled show will follow Garbo and Dietrich through their relationships with various film stars, including Cary Grant, John Wayne, Mercedes de Acosta, Tallulah Bankhead, Alla Nazimova, and Barbara Stanwyck.
There’s something to be said, as well, for a hot producer like Ellison making her first venture into television with two female leads, but we’ll wait to see the casting before praising this venture any further. Not for nothing, though.