Wattpad Appoints Devashish Sharma as First India Manager (EXCLUSIVE)

Wattpad, which hosts a platform with more than 400 million user-generated stories, has appointed Devashish Sharma as its first country head for India. Toronto-based Wattpad is home to a community of more than 70 million people who spend over 22 billion…

Wattpad, which hosts a platform with more than 400 million user-generated stories, has appointed Devashish Sharma as its first country head for India. Toronto-based Wattpad is home to a community of more than 70 million people who spend over 22 billion minutes a month engaged in original stories. Earlier this year it raised $51 million […]

‘Light as a Feather’ Creator on Tapping Into the ‘High Drama’ of High School for Hulu Thriller

In Hulu’s new thriller “Light as a Feather,” a simple slumber party game becomes a matter of life and death. But in typical teen drama fashion, just about everything else feels the same way.

An adaptation of Zoe Aarsen’s hugely popular Wattpad story-turned-novel, the 10-episode drama follows five girls who play an ill-advised game of “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” in a graveyard and then have to contend with a potentially deadly curse.

Taking a page from other genre-inflected dramas like Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” and The CW’s moody Archie comics adaptation “Riverdale,” “Light as a Feather” carefully intertwines real mortal peril with typical high school anxieties — splintering friendships, burgeoning romances, overbearing parents — to create a best emotional approximation of life as a teenager. Which is to say, sometimes joyful, often sweet, but mostly just terrifying and miserable.

Also Read: Hulu Orders Wu-Tang Clan Scripted Drama Series From The RZA and Method Man

“There’s something about that age when certain seminal things happen. Your first relationship, your first break-up, all of these firsts,” said series creator Lee Fleming Jr. in an interview with TheWrap. “Everything is so fraught and raw, so even what would otherwise be a kind of mundane thing, the first time it happens to you, it’s high drama. It’s the biggest thing ever. You didn’t just have your heart broken, you’re the first person in the history of the world to ever have your heart broken like that.”

Rachael Thompson/Hulu

Fleming has been writing teenage characters on screen for nearly all of his career with projects like “One Tree Hill” and “She’s All That,” which first hit theaters in 1999. “There must be some dark unresolved thing from high school that I’m still trying to work out,” he jokes.

This time around he’s enlisted an ensemble of up-and-coming young actors, including Liana Liberato (“The Best of Me,” “If I Stay”), Ajiona Alexus (“13 Reasons Why”), Brianne Tju (“Scream: The TV Series”), Peyton List (“Jessie,” “Bunk’d”), Haley Ramm (“Chasing Life”) and Dylan Sprayberry (“Teen Wolf”) — almost all of whom are in their early 20s and from an entirely different generation than the characters he’s written about in the past.

Also Read: George Clooney, Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Signs First-Look Deal With Paramount Television

“I think you’re right that there are a lot of things that are very different. There are different pressures,” Fleming admitted. But even though the details are different from year to year and person to person, “those feelings, a lot of that is the same. Those emotional moments and those big firsts.”

As for the finer details, “Well, now I have a niece who just turned 16, so I can go to her,” said Fleming.

Read TheWrap’s full interview with Fleming below.

Rachael Thompson/Hulu

TheWrap: I know this is an adaptation of a Wattpad story, but can you tell me a little about the origins of this project? How did you come to be attached?

Fleming: This is was pretty much an open writing assignment. [The producers] were meeting with writers to try to find someone to adapt it into a series. And at that point, Zoe’s book was one of their most popular titles. I had done a lot of high school stuff in my career, but at that point, I’d never done any horror. So I went in and had a great meeting with them, and I called my agent and said, “I think I may get this.” And fortunately enough, they trusted me to do it and gave me the job.

When you read the story, what was it that appealed to you? What made you want to adapt it?

I had been burned before — well not burned, I still got paid to do it — but I had tried to adapt things before that didn’t find success. Even if something is a great book, it may not be super adaptable. With this, there were so many of the elements there already. Just the set of the characters in the series and their friendships. As I was reading it, I just knew, Yeah, I can do this. I can see this series.

You’ve worked on a few of these kinds of teen dramas, what is it about this genre that you enjoy writing?

I keep asking myself this question, why after 20 years am I still in high school? But to me, there’s something about that age when certain seminal things happen. Your first relationship, your first break-up, all of these firsts. Everything is so fraught and raw, so even what would otherwise be a kind of mundane thing, the first time it happens to you, it’s high drama. It’s the biggest thing ever. You didn’t just have your heart broken, you’re the first person in the history of the world to ever have your heart broken like that. I think that’s the reason that I keep gravitating toward it. Plus, there must be some dark unresolved thing from high school that I’m still trying to work out.

Also Read: Kristen Bell Wants to ‘Brace Fans’ for How Much ‘Darker’ Hulu’s ‘Veronica Mars’ Revival Will Be (Video)

How faithful to the original story would you say the series is? Did you take many liberties with the story or characters?

It’ll definitely be recognizable to fans. Most of the characters are largely the same — we had to change one of the names for legal reasons. But because we had to expand on it and go in slightly different directions or dig a little deeper, there are some changes. I think for people who love the book, they will recognize the same story, just maybe with a little more invention.

How involved was Zoe in the series? Was she in the room at all?

She wasn’t in the room, but we met early on. She sort of told me the things that she was thinking, some of the things that weren’t on the page yet in terms of the mythology. The long story and the secret of why all the spooky stuff is happening, she gave me some of that backstory. So there are elements of that in what we’ve done, and I think she read some of the early drafts and been kept up to speed with everything. And I’ve met with her since then, just to celebrate getting picked up to series. She’s great, and she’s been nothing but supportive.

Rachael Thompson/Hulu

Was the budget ever a challenge at all? The show doesn’t look cheap, but it does look like you had to do a lot with very little.

Yeah, and I have to say, the director of the first and last two episodes, Alexis Ostrander, was so responsible for coming up with the look of the show. We definitely didn’t have a network budget, but there was a conscious decision to give it its own look. I think there’s kind of an indie look to it, which serves the story in a way. I love shows like this and I’ve worked on shows like this where everything is bright and splashy colors, but there’s sort of a look that reflects some of the darkness that’s going on a lot of the time in these girls lives.

The show is super serialized, and Hulu is releasing all 10 episodes at once. When you’re making a show like this for a streaming platform, does that change how you approach writing each episode?

I think we were unclear on that. We were never 100 percent sure that all 10 episodes were going to go up [at the same time]. I think we were always aware that that was a possibility, but we didn’t change the way we told the stories, and there wasn’t a whole lot of discussion about how people were going to watch it. However, we did make a point of wanting to leave the audience wanting more at the end of every episode.

Also Read: ‘Veronica Mars’ Revival Heads to Hulu With 8-Episode Order

It’s a half-hour drama, which is somewhat unusual. What was behind the decision to go with shorter episodes?

Actually, when I first started the show, it was going to be a more traditional hour-long drama. But telling it in these half-hour bites and cramming so much into each episode, kind of helps the story. Because there’s such urgency with everything going on in these characters lives. They don’t have a lot of time to breathe, so I think the pace contributes to the overall tone of the show. I’ve worked these kind of these high school shows where something really serious is going on, like Oh my god, there’s a killer out there, but we also have to plan the spring formal. Or something like that. And it’s kind of hard to reconcile those two things. I think there’s an urgency that telling a drama in half an hour gives you.

Rachael Thompson/Hulu

Just to loop back to the conversation about genre for a second, have you found it increasingly tough to write teenagers over time? Being a young person in 2018 is so different than it was even 10-20 years ago. 

Well, now I have a niece who just turned 16, so I can go to her for some details [laughs]. But I think you’re right that there are a lot of things that are very different. There are different pressures. And obviously, technology has changed a lot of things in terms of storytelling. Even when I first started out 20 years ago, people weren’t so immediately reachable all the time. But those things we talked about earlier, those feelings, a lot of that is the same. Those emotional moments and those big firsts. So I think to that a lot of the time, and, for the details, it’s helpful to have people in the room who were teenagers a little more recently.

The cast is made up of a lot of very good young actors, and Liana Liberato, especially, is a great anchor for the show. What kinds of things were you looking for when you were casting these characters?

Liana, when she came in, just came across as so incredibly — she’s obviously an immensely talented actress — but she just seemed to really just get the part and really understand the character. She came in and everyone was immediately blown away. She’s such a great actress. There was a vulnerability to it, a wounded aspect. Part of her backstory is that she’s coming back from a staggering loss, so even though she was tough, but there was also a vulnerable quality helpful for the character.

Also Read: Patricia Arquette to Star in Hulu’s True-Crime Anthology Series ‘The Act’

The season ends on a pretty big cliffhanger. Do you already know what a second season would look like?

We were very excited to end the show with those unresolved elements, and the other writers and I have been at the bars talking about it. We can’t wait to get started on Season 2 if the opportunity presents itself. And, yes, we absolutely know where the story is going. There’s some details to be worked out and someone may come up with an even better idea, but we know what we want to do.

Not all of the characters make it out alive, but is there a possibility that we could see some of them again?

There are a couple characters who we don’t think we’ll see again, but we figured out a way [later in the season]. Of course, there were moments where it’s like, Well, that’s it for her! [Laughs]. But there’s always a possibility.

Rachael Thompson/Hulu

“Light as a Feather” Season 1 debuts on Hulu on Friday, Oct. 12.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Hulu Orders Wu-Tang Clan Scripted Drama Series From The RZA and Method Man

Chris Kattan High School Comedy ‘How to Get Girls’ Lands at Hulu (Exclusive)

Kristen Bell Wants to ‘Brace Fans’ for How Much ‘Darker’ Hulu’s ‘Veronica Mars’ Revival Will Be (Video)

In Hulu’s new thriller “Light as a Feather,” a simple slumber party game becomes a matter of life and death. But in typical teen drama fashion, just about everything else feels the same way.

An adaptation of Zoe Aarsen’s hugely popular Wattpad story-turned-novel, the 10-episode drama follows five girls who play an ill-advised game of “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” in a graveyard and then have to contend with a potentially deadly curse.

Taking a page from other genre-inflected dramas like Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” and The CW’s moody Archie comics adaptation “Riverdale,” “Light as a Feather” carefully intertwines real mortal peril with typical high school anxieties — splintering friendships, burgeoning romances, overbearing parents — to create a best emotional approximation of life as a teenager. Which is to say, sometimes joyful, often sweet, but mostly just terrifying and miserable.

“There’s something about that age when certain seminal things happen. Your first relationship, your first break-up, all of these firsts,” said series creator Lee Fleming Jr. in an interview with TheWrap. “Everything is so fraught and raw, so even what would otherwise be a kind of mundane thing, the first time it happens to you, it’s high drama. It’s the biggest thing ever. You didn’t just have your heart broken, you’re the first person in the history of the world to ever have your heart broken like that.”

Rachael Thompson/Hulu

Fleming has been writing teenage characters on screen for nearly all of his career with projects like “One Tree Hill” and “She’s All That,” which first hit theaters in 1999. “There must be some dark unresolved thing from high school that I’m still trying to work out,” he jokes.

This time around he’s enlisted an ensemble of up-and-coming young actors, including Liana Liberato (“The Best of Me,” “If I Stay”), Ajiona Alexus (“13 Reasons Why”), Brianne Tju (“Scream: The TV Series”), Peyton List (“Jessie,” “Bunk’d”), Haley Ramm (“Chasing Life”) and Dylan Sprayberry (“Teen Wolf”) — almost all of whom are in their early 20s and from an entirely different generation than the characters he’s written about in the past.

“I think you’re right that there are a lot of things that are very different. There are different pressures,” Fleming admitted. But even though the details are different from year to year and person to person, “those feelings, a lot of that is the same. Those emotional moments and those big firsts.”

As for the finer details, “Well, now I have a niece who just turned 16, so I can go to her,” said Fleming.

Read TheWrap’s full interview with Fleming below.

Rachael Thompson/Hulu

TheWrap: I know this is an adaptation of a Wattpad story, but can you tell me a little about the origins of this project? How did you come to be attached?

Fleming: This is was pretty much an open writing assignment. [The producers] were meeting with writers to try to find someone to adapt it into a series. And at that point, Zoe’s book was one of their most popular titles. I had done a lot of high school stuff in my career, but at that point, I’d never done any horror. So I went in and had a great meeting with them, and I called my agent and said, “I think I may get this.” And fortunately enough, they trusted me to do it and gave me the job.

When you read the story, what was it that appealed to you? What made you want to adapt it?

I had been burned before — well not burned, I still got paid to do it — but I had tried to adapt things before that didn’t find success. Even if something is a great book, it may not be super adaptable. With this, there were so many of the elements there already. Just the set of the characters in the series and their friendships. As I was reading it, I just knew, Yeah, I can do this. I can see this series.

You’ve worked on a few of these kinds of teen dramas, what is it about this genre that you enjoy writing?

I keep asking myself this question, why after 20 years am I still in high school? But to me, there’s something about that age when certain seminal things happen. Your first relationship, your first break-up, all of these firsts. Everything is so fraught and raw, so even what would otherwise be a kind of mundane thing, the first time it happens to you, it’s high drama. It’s the biggest thing ever. You didn’t just have your heart broken, you’re the first person in the history of the world to ever have your heart broken like that. I think that’s the reason that I keep gravitating toward it. Plus, there must be some dark unresolved thing from high school that I’m still trying to work out.

How faithful to the original story would you say the series is? Did you take many liberties with the story or characters?

It’ll definitely be recognizable to fans. Most of the characters are largely the same — we had to change one of the names for legal reasons. But because we had to expand on it and go in slightly different directions or dig a little deeper, there are some changes. I think for people who love the book, they will recognize the same story, just maybe with a little more invention.

How involved was Zoe in the series? Was she in the room at all?

She wasn’t in the room, but we met early on. She sort of told me the things that she was thinking, some of the things that weren’t on the page yet in terms of the mythology. The long story and the secret of why all the spooky stuff is happening, she gave me some of that backstory. So there are elements of that in what we’ve done, and I think she read some of the early drafts and been kept up to speed with everything. And I’ve met with her since then, just to celebrate getting picked up to series. She’s great, and she’s been nothing but supportive.

Rachael Thompson/Hulu

Was the budget ever a challenge at all? The show doesn’t look cheap, but it does look like you had to do a lot with very little.

Yeah, and I have to say, the director of the first and last two episodes, Alexis Ostrander, was so responsible for coming up with the look of the show. We definitely didn’t have a network budget, but there was a conscious decision to give it its own look. I think there’s kind of an indie look to it, which serves the story in a way. I love shows like this and I’ve worked on shows like this where everything is bright and splashy colors, but there’s sort of a look that reflects some of the darkness that’s going on a lot of the time in these girls lives.

The show is super serialized, and Hulu is releasing all 10 episodes at once. When you’re making a show like this for a streaming platform, does that change how you approach writing each episode?

I think we were unclear on that. We were never 100 percent sure that all 10 episodes were going to go up [at the same time]. I think we were always aware that that was a possibility, but we didn’t change the way we told the stories, and there wasn’t a whole lot of discussion about how people were going to watch it. However, we did make a point of wanting to leave the audience wanting more at the end of every episode.

It’s a half-hour drama, which is somewhat unusual. What was behind the decision to go with shorter episodes?

Actually, when I first started the show, it was going to be a more traditional hour-long drama. But telling it in these half-hour bites and cramming so much into each episode, kind of helps the story. Because there’s such urgency with everything going on in these characters lives. They don’t have a lot of time to breathe, so I think the pace contributes to the overall tone of the show. I’ve worked these kind of these high school shows where something really serious is going on, like Oh my god, there’s a killer out there, but we also have to plan the spring formal. Or something like that. And it’s kind of hard to reconcile those two things. I think there’s an urgency that telling a drama in half an hour gives you.

Rachael Thompson/Hulu

Just to loop back to the conversation about genre for a second, have you found it increasingly tough to write teenagers over time? Being a young person in 2018 is so different than it was even 10-20 years ago. 

Well, now I have a niece who just turned 16, so I can go to her for some details [laughs]. But I think you’re right that there are a lot of things that are very different. There are different pressures. And obviously, technology has changed a lot of things in terms of storytelling. Even when I first started out 20 years ago, people weren’t so immediately reachable all the time. But those things we talked about earlier, those feelings, a lot of that is the same. Those emotional moments and those big firsts. So I think to that a lot of the time, and, for the details, it’s helpful to have people in the room who were teenagers a little more recently.

The cast is made up of a lot of very good young actors, and Liana Liberato, especially, is a great anchor for the show. What kinds of things were you looking for when you were casting these characters?

Liana, when she came in, just came across as so incredibly — she’s obviously an immensely talented actress — but she just seemed to really just get the part and really understand the character. She came in and everyone was immediately blown away. She’s such a great actress. There was a vulnerability to it, a wounded aspect. Part of her backstory is that she’s coming back from a staggering loss, so even though she was tough, but there was also a vulnerable quality helpful for the character.

The season ends on a pretty big cliffhanger. Do you already know what a second season would look like?

We were very excited to end the show with those unresolved elements, and the other writers and I have been at the bars talking about it. We can’t wait to get started on Season 2 if the opportunity presents itself. And, yes, we absolutely know where the story is going. There’s some details to be worked out and someone may come up with an even better idea, but we know what we want to do.

Not all of the characters make it out alive, but is there a possibility that we could see some of them again?

There are a couple characters who we don’t think we’ll see again, but we figured out a way [later in the season]. Of course, there were moments where it’s like, Well, that’s it for her! [Laughs]. But there’s always a possibility.

Rachael Thompson/Hulu

“Light as a Feather” Season 1 debuts on Hulu on Friday, Oct. 12.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Hulu Orders Wu-Tang Clan Scripted Drama Series From The RZA and Method Man

Chris Kattan High School Comedy 'How to Get Girls' Lands at Hulu (Exclusive)

Kristen Bell Wants to 'Brace Fans' for How Much 'Darker' Hulu's 'Veronica Mars' Revival Will Be (Video)

Female Filmmakers Share War Stories, From Breast Feeding on Set to Male Insubordination

Female filmmakers have faced many challenges over the year, but few experienced the outright hostility of their government, as Wanuri Kahiu did on her film, “Rafiki.” a lesbian love story.

Speaking at TheWrap’s Power Women Lunch at the Toronto Film Festival on Saturday, Kahiu related how Kenya’s censorship board complained that her lesbian love story was too “hopeful” in a country where homosexuality is banned — and that her film could only be released there if she changed her ending.

Homosexuality is banned in Kenya, and so was Kahiu’s film. She said the censorship board complained that her film was too “hopeful,” and that they would allow its release if she changed the ending.

“The [Kenya Film Commission] asked if I had an ending that showed my lead as more remorseful. I said ‘No,’” she told a packed room of top women in the film industry. She also said she had decided to sue the Kenyan government next week to force the release of the film.

Also Read: Elle Fanning Film ‘Teen Spirit’ Nabbed by Mickey Liddell

Other international filmmakers shared their experiences as women behind the camera, from breast-feeding on set to battling male subordinates who seek to undermine their leadership.

“I had a Netflix rider in my contract that there had to be a cooler with ice for breast milk,” Chai Vasarhelyi (“Free Solo”) told moderator Sharon Waxman, the founder and CEO of TheWrap. “I was obsessed with it.”

“I breast-fed during shots,” said Patricia Rozema, whose film “Mouthpiece” is an abstract study of two different versions of the same woman, one inspired and confident and the other decidedly not.

Also Read: Toronto Film Festival Organizers Commit to Gender Parity in Their Ranks

“It’s extremely important that our children see the work we do,” Rozema said. “It’s absurd that we have these precious creatures and put them all in one building to be raised by someone else.”

The panelists, who also included Nadine Labaki (“Capernaum”), agreed that women also face perception problems on set due to the historical lack of leadership opportunities they have received.

“I’ve had people approach me thinking I was with craft services or a unit publicist,” said Molly McGlynn, who directed the feature “Mary Goes Round” and attended the event as ambassador for Share Her Journey, the TIFF nonprofit group aimed at uplifting women in the film business.

Many of those individuals were men, she said, and McGlynn said she deliberately decided to “hold eye contact longer than I should, not to shame them but address the nature of that very question of why I’m there.”

Also Read: Film Critics’ Gender Gap: Men Write 78 Percent of Reviews, Study Finds

Panelists also agreed that women needed to stop asking permission to tell their stories. “The onscreen women we have been learning from are male creations. Everything we say and do are reactions to that gender creation … it’s self-sabotage,” Rozema said.

“I’ve learned to fight, and to speak up, and not be silenced,” Kahiu said.

A second panel on women breaking ground in the tech industry included producer Miranda Bailey, who just launched a women-focused media review website called CherryPicks; Jodi Kovitz of gender-parity nonprofit Move the Dial; and Ashleigh Gardner of the Canadian-based user-generated story website Wattpad Studios.

The event directly followed the festival’s Share Her Journey rally outside festival headquarters in downtown Toronto, which featured top leaders promoting the advancement of women in the film business. Share Her Journey was an official partner on the luncheon.

Others in attendance included Sundance executive director Keri Putnam, Women and Hollywood founder Melissa Silverstein, producer and Women in Film head Cathy Schulman, USC associate professor Stacy Smith, veteran film marketing executive Marian Koltai-Levine and Canadian officials like L.A. Consul General James Villeneuve.

TheWrap’s Power Women series is connecting and inspiring the leading influential women of entertainment, media, technology and brands in the key cities where those women work, create, gather, network and connect.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Toronto Film Festival Organizers Commit to Gender Parity in Their Ranks

Will Oscar Season’s Early Contenders Survive the Toronto Film Festival Onslaught?

Toronto Film Festival Market: Will Streaming Giants Spend Big Again and 5 Other Things to Watch

Female filmmakers have faced many challenges over the year, but few experienced the outright hostility of their government, as Wanuri Kahiu did on her film, “Rafiki.” a lesbian love story.

Speaking at TheWrap’s Power Women Lunch at the Toronto Film Festival on Saturday, Kahiu related how Kenya’s censorship board complained that her lesbian love story was too “hopeful” in a country where homosexuality is banned — and that her film could only be released there if she changed her ending.

Homosexuality is banned in Kenya, and so was Kahiu’s film. She said the censorship board complained that her film was too “hopeful,” and that they would allow its release if she changed the ending.

“The [Kenya Film Commission] asked if I had an ending that showed my lead as more remorseful. I said ‘No,'” she told a packed room of top women in the film industry. She also said she had decided to sue the Kenyan government next week to force the release of the film.

Other international filmmakers shared their experiences as women behind the camera, from breast-feeding on set to battling male subordinates who seek to undermine their leadership.

“I had a Netflix rider in my contract that there had to be a cooler with ice for breast milk,” Chai Vasarhelyi (“Free Solo”) told moderator Sharon Waxman, the founder and CEO of TheWrap. “I was obsessed with it.”

“I breast-fed during shots,” said Patricia Rozema, whose film “Mouthpiece” is an abstract study of two different versions of the same woman, one inspired and confident and the other decidedly not.

“It’s extremely important that our children see the work we do,” Rozema said. “It’s absurd that we have these precious creatures and put them all in one building to be raised by someone else.”

The panelists, who also included Nadine Labaki (“Capernaum”), agreed that women also face perception problems on set due to the historical lack of leadership opportunities they have received.

“I’ve had people approach me thinking I was with craft services or a unit publicist,” said Molly McGlynn, who directed the feature “Mary Goes Round” and attended the event as ambassador for Share Her Journey, the TIFF nonprofit group aimed at uplifting women in the film business.

Many of those individuals were men, she said, and McGlynn said she deliberately decided to “hold eye contact longer than I should, not to shame them but address the nature of that very question of why I’m there.”

Panelists also agreed that women needed to stop asking permission to tell their stories. “The onscreen women we have been learning from are male creations. Everything we say and do are reactions to that gender creation … it’s self-sabotage,” Rozema said.

“I’ve learned to fight, and to speak up, and not be silenced,” Kahiu said.

A second panel on women breaking ground in the tech industry included producer Miranda Bailey, who just launched a women-focused media review website called CherryPicks; Jodi Kovitz of gender-parity nonprofit Move the Dial; and Ashleigh Gardner of the Canadian-based user-generated story website Wattpad Studios.

The event directly followed the festival’s Share Her Journey rally outside festival headquarters in downtown Toronto, which featured top leaders promoting the advancement of women in the film business. Share Her Journey was an official partner on the luncheon.

Others in attendance included Sundance executive director Keri Putnam, Women and Hollywood founder Melissa Silverstein, producer and Women in Film head Cathy Schulman, USC associate professor Stacy Smith, veteran film marketing executive Marian Koltai-Levine and Canadian officials like L.A. Consul General James Villeneuve.

TheWrap’s Power Women series is connecting and inspiring the leading influential women of entertainment, media, technology and brands in the key cities where those women work, create, gather, network and connect.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Toronto Film Festival Organizers Commit to Gender Parity in Their Ranks

Will Oscar Season's Early Contenders Survive the Toronto Film Festival Onslaught?

Toronto Film Festival Market: Will Streaming Giants Spend Big Again and 5 Other Things to Watch

Wattpad Strikes Original Content Partnership With Asian Digital Platform Iflix

Wattpad, the Toronto-based storytelling app that combines crowdsourced content and original IP, is heading to Asia after striking a content partnership with digital platform iflix.
This comes after numerous deals with Hollywood studio partners includin…

Wattpad, the Toronto-based storytelling app that combines crowdsourced content and original IP, is heading to Asia after striking a content partnership with digital platform iflix. This comes after numerous deals with Hollywood studio partners including Sony Pictures Television and eOne and broadcasters such as Hulu and Netflix as well as international partners including Bavaria Fiction. Wattpad and iflix will co-produce dozens of original movies based on Wattpad stories…

26 Movies in the Pipeline from Indonesia for Wattpad and Iflix

Streaming video service, iflix has teamed with Canadian online entertainment platform Wattpad. Together they plan to produce “dozens of original movies” in Indonesia over the next year. The stories will be selected from the 6 million pieces of Indonesi…

Streaming video service, iflix has teamed with Canadian online entertainment platform Wattpad. Together they plan to produce “dozens of original movies” in Indonesia over the next year. The stories will be selected from the 6 million pieces of Indonesian content uploaded to Wattpad. The companies say that machine learning will guide the selection process. Aggregate […]

Peter Gallagher And Jennifer Beals Join ‘After’ Movie

Jennifer Beals and Peter Gallagher have joined the cast of After, the movie based on Anna Todd’s bestselling novels that started out as a blowout fan-fiction success on Wattpad. They join Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin who are toplini…

Jennifer Beals and Peter Gallagher have joined the cast of After, the movie based on Anna Todd’s bestselling novels that started out as a blowout fan-fiction success on Wattpad. They join Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin who are toplining the pic, which Jenny Gage is directing from Susan McMartin’s script. Aviron Pictures acquired rights to the film this week and has set an April 12, 2019 release date. Production is underway now in Atlanta. After is a story of…

Wattpad Strikes Development & Production Deal With Germany’s Bavaria Fiction

Wattpad, the Toronto-based storytelling app that combines crowdsourced content and original IP, is heading to Germany after striking a development and production deal with Bavaria Fiction.
This comes after numerous deals with Hollywood studio partners …

Wattpad, the Toronto-based storytelling app that combines crowdsourced content and original IP, is heading to Germany after striking a development and production deal with Bavaria Fiction. This comes after numerous deals with Hollywood studio partners including Sony Pictures Television and eOne and broadcasters such as Hulu and Netflix. The deal will give Bavaria Fiction, which is a joint venture between Bavaria Film and ZDF Enterprises, access to more than a million…

Hulu Orders Horror Series ‘Light as a Feather’ From Kelsey Grammer and Awesomeness TV

Hulu has given a straight-to-series order to horror show “Light as a Feather,” which counts “Cheers” and “Frasier” alum Kelsey Grammer among its many executive producers.

The 10-episode thriller comes from Awesomeness TV, Wattpad, and Grammer’s Gramnet.

Based on Zoe Aarsen’s story “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board,” which was originally published on Wattpad, the streaming version will highlight a slumber party gone wrong, as five girls begin dying off in the exact way the game predicts.

Production on the series is set to begin in June.

Also Read: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Star Samira Wiley Explains Why Moira Just Became ‘Ruby’ Again (Video)

Lee Fleming Jr. created the adaptation and will executive produce the show. Other executive producers include Awesomeness TV’s Jordan Levin, Shelley Zimmerman, Joe Davola and Brett Bouttier.

Tom Russo, Brian Sher and Stella Bulochnikov from Gramnet and Aron Levitz and Eric Lehrman from Wattpad also all earn executive producer credits on the upcoming Hulu series.

“‘Light as a Feather’ is a captivating and unique story, with supernatural twists and thrills that readers all over the world have fallen in love with,” said Levitz, the head of Wattpad Studios. “The story is another example of a Wattpad fan favorite that is perfect for adaptation and new life on another platform. We’re excited to be working with AwesomenessTV and Hulu to bring ‘Light as a Feather’ to a new audience in a new format, while also giving the story’s millions of current fans another way to enjoy the story they couldn’t put down.”

“When I first joined Wattpad, I set out to create something unique, exploring characters and a world where female empowerment, friendship, and supernatural forces come together,” added Aarsen. “Wattpad is a place where people come together and connect over stories, discussing every twist and cliffhanger, so it was the perfect platform for my story. Teen horror is my passion, so I can’t wait to be able to share ‘Light as a Feather’ with other horror aficionados on Hulu.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Hulu Adds 3 Million Subscribers This Year, Tops 20 Million

‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Renewed for Season 3 by Hulu

DreamWorks Animation Sets New Streaming Deal With Hulu

Hulu has given a straight-to-series order to horror show “Light as a Feather,” which counts “Cheers” and “Frasier” alum Kelsey Grammer among its many executive producers.

The 10-episode thriller comes from Awesomeness TV, Wattpad, and Grammer’s Gramnet.

Based on Zoe Aarsen’s story “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board,” which was originally published on Wattpad, the streaming version will highlight a slumber party gone wrong, as five girls begin dying off in the exact way the game predicts.

Production on the series is set to begin in June.

Lee Fleming Jr. created the adaptation and will executive produce the show. Other executive producers include Awesomeness TV’s Jordan Levin, Shelley Zimmerman, Joe Davola and Brett Bouttier.

Tom Russo, Brian Sher and Stella Bulochnikov from Gramnet and Aron Levitz and Eric Lehrman from Wattpad also all earn executive producer credits on the upcoming Hulu series.

“‘Light as a Feather’ is a captivating and unique story, with supernatural twists and thrills that readers all over the world have fallen in love with,” said Levitz, the head of Wattpad Studios. “The story is another example of a Wattpad fan favorite that is perfect for adaptation and new life on another platform. We’re excited to be working with AwesomenessTV and Hulu to bring ‘Light as a Feather’ to a new audience in a new format, while also giving the story’s millions of current fans another way to enjoy the story they couldn’t put down.”

“When I first joined Wattpad, I set out to create something unique, exploring characters and a world where female empowerment, friendship, and supernatural forces come together,” added Aarsen. “Wattpad is a place where people come together and connect over stories, discussing every twist and cliffhanger, so it was the perfect platform for my story. Teen horror is my passion, so I can’t wait to be able to share ‘Light as a Feather’ with other horror aficionados on Hulu.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Hulu Star Mindy Kaling Disses Netflix, Amazon Prime: 'Add-On to the Website Where You Buy Tampons'

Hulu Adds 3 Million Subscribers This Year, Tops 20 Million

'Handmaid's Tale' Renewed for Season 3 by Hulu

DreamWorks Animation Sets New Streaming Deal With Hulu

Sony Pictures Television Acquires Wattpad Story ‘Death Is My BFF’

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Television has acquired the rights to Katarina E. Tonks’s story series Death Is My BFF, which bowed via Wattpad, the Toronto-based storytelling app that combines crowdsourced content and other material.
Paul Shapiro, who brough…

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Television has acquired the rights to Katarina E. Tonks's story series Death Is My BFF, which bowed via Wattpad, the Toronto-based storytelling app that combines crowdsourced content and other material. Paul Shapiro, who brought the project to Sony, will executive produce under his All In Media banner, along with Wattpad’s Aron Levitz and Eric Lehrman. Tonks's Death Is My BFF series of stories have more than 92 million reads to date on…

‘Cupid’s Match’ Trailer: CW Seed Sets Supernatural Romance Pilot For Valentine’s Day

What if myths were real? This Valentine’s Day is going to be a little different for 17-year-old Lila Black. She’s getting paired up with a certain cherubic archer in the pilot of Cupid’s Match, which will launch February 14 on The CW’s digital network CW Seed. Watch the exclusive first trailer above.
Written by Lauren Palphreyman and hailing from Tongal, the CW and WattpadCupid’s Match stars Michel Janse as Lila, a high school student who finds herself in a supernatural…

What if myths were real? This Valentine’s Day is going to be a little different for 17-year-old Lila Black. She’s getting paired up with a certain cherubic archer in the pilot of Cupid’s Match, which will launch February 14 on The CW’s digital network CW Seed. Watch the exclusive first trailer above. Written by Lauren Palphreyman and hailing from Tongal, the CW and WattpadCupid’s Match stars Michel Janse as Lila, a high school student who finds herself in a supernatural…

Wattpad Banks $51 Million From Tencent, Other Investors to Fund Entertainment Projects

Wattpad, which hosts a platform with more than 400 million user-generated stories, has raised $51 million from investors including Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings. Other investors in the round include BDC, Globe Telecom’s Kickstart Ventures, Peterson Group, and existing investor Raine Group. The Toronto-based company said the new funding will go toward expanding entertainment projects […]

Wattpad, which hosts a platform with more than 400 million user-generated stories, has raised $51 million from investors including Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings. Other investors in the round include BDC, Globe Telecom’s Kickstart Ventures, Peterson Group, and existing investor Raine Group. The Toronto-based company said the new funding will go toward expanding entertainment projects […]

Komixx Options YA Wattpad Hit ‘My Life With The Walter Boys’ By Ali Novak

Broadening its relationship with online storytelling community Wattpad, Komixx Entertainment has optioned worldwide screen rights to Ali Novak‘s My Life With The Walter Boys. The YA novel has more than 67M reads on Wattpad where it was originally published when Novak was 15. It was later published in print by Sourcebooks.
A coming-of-age tale, My Life With The Walter Boys features prim and proper 16-year-old Jackie Howard whose world is turned upside down by a freak…

Broadening its relationship with online storytelling community Wattpad, Komixx Entertainment has optioned worldwide screen rights to Ali Novak's My Life With The Walter Boys. The YA novel has more than 67M reads on Wattpad where it was originally published when Novak was 15. It was later published in print by Sourcebooks. A coming-of-age tale, My Life With The Walter Boys features prim and proper 16-year-old Jackie Howard whose world is turned upside down by a freak…

Lionsgate Teams With Tongal And Wattpad For ‘Wonder’-Inspired Short Films

With Lionsgate’s coming-of-age drama Wonder opening in theaters on November 17, the studio has teamed with creative network Tongal and entertainment company Wattpad for the #ChooseKind campaign in which three films were developed to promote kindness.
Today, Tongal unveiled the heartwarming — and tear-jerking — shorts: The Fuzzy Spark (which can be watched above), Roadside Assistance, and Please Recycle. They were released across brand channels on Facebook, leading up to Wo…

With Lionsgate’s coming-of-age drama Wonder opening in theaters on November 17, the studio has teamed with creative network Tongal and entertainment company Wattpad for the #ChooseKind campaign in which three films were developed to promote kindness. Today, Tongal unveiled the heartwarming — and tear-jerking — shorts: The Fuzzy Spark (which can be watched above), Roadside Assistance, and Please Recycle. They were released across brand channels on Facebook, leading up to Wo…

Social Storyteller Wattpad Teams With eOne In Content Sourcing Deal

In yet another Hollywood foray into exploring online content for transformation into film and television, Toronto’s Wattpad Studios has entered into a content partnership with Entertainment One (eOne), the independent studio behind television hits The Walking Dead and Designated Survivor.
Under the deal, original television, feature film, and virtual reality projects will be sourced for development from the 400 million story uploads on social storyteller Wattpad, with the…

In yet another Hollywood foray into exploring online content for transformation into film and television, Toronto’s Wattpad Studios has entered into a content partnership with Entertainment One (eOne), the independent studio behind television hits The Walking Dead and Designated Survivor. Under the deal, original television, feature film, and virtual reality projects will be sourced for development from the 400 million story uploads on social storyteller Wattpad, with the…

eOne Pacts With Wattpad to Develop Fan Fiction for TV, Film, Virtual Reality

Entertainment One is looking to mine a few gems out of Wattpad’s 400 million user-generated stories. Toronto-based eOne has inked a partnership with Wattpad to source fan fiction submitted to the service, with an eye toward developing those into original TV, feature film and virtual-reality projects. Under the pact, Wattpad will identify and curate material […]

Entertainment One is looking to mine a few gems out of Wattpad’s 400 million user-generated stories. Toronto-based eOne has inked a partnership with Wattpad to source fan fiction submitted to the service, with an eye toward developing those into original TV, feature film and virtual-reality projects. Under the pact, Wattpad will identify and curate material […]

‘Cupid’s Way’: CW Seed Eyes Viral Supernatural Romance From Wattpad & Tongal; Filmmakers Urged To Pitch Ideas

EXCLUSIVE: A digital pilot adaptation of the viral supernatural romance stories Cupid’s Match is being developed by Tongal and Wattpad for CW Seed, the companies announced today, putting out a call for filmmakers to pitch how they would bring the viral tale to series.
Tongal, the Santa Monica-based global network of 120,000 professional creatives and a proprietary development platform, develops content strategies and produces video. Wattpad is a Toronto-based…

EXCLUSIVE: A digital pilot adaptation of the viral supernatural romance stories Cupid's Match is being developed by Tongal and Wattpad for CW Seed, the companies announced today, putting out a call for filmmakers to pitch how they would bring the viral tale to series. Tongal, the Santa Monica-based global network of 120,000 professional creatives and a proprietary development platform, develops content strategies and produces video. Wattpad is a Toronto-based…

Wattpad Studios Expands With Pair Of New Department Heads

Wattpad Studios, the global multiplatform entertainment company for original stories, is expanding with the hires of two execs in newly created positions: Eric Lehrman as head of content development and production and Abby Ho as head of stars.
Wattpad Studios is predicated on helping our amazing storytellers — the Wattpad Stars — grow their careers and realize their dreams by working with the entertainment and publishing industries,” said Head of Wattpad Studios Aron…

Wattpad Studios, the global multiplatform entertainment company for original stories, is expanding with the hires of two execs in newly created positions: Eric Lehrman as head of content development and production and Abby Ho as head of stars. "Wattpad Studios is predicated on helping our amazing storytellers — the Wattpad Stars — grow their careers and realize their dreams by working with the entertainment and publishing industries," said Head of Wattpad Studios Aron…

Amid ‘Cure for Wellness’ Fake-News Scandal, Fox Runs Another Kind of Fictional Promo

While one of 20th Century Fox’s marketing stunts for “A Cure for Wellness” — involving fake news stories planted across the web — blew up in its face, the studio also spread fiction of a more traditional sort across Facebook to promote the movie. The studio worked with fan-fiction site Wattpad to enlist writers to craft… Read more »

While one of 20th Century Fox’s marketing stunts for “A Cure for Wellness” — involving fake news stories planted across the web — blew up in its face, the studio also spread fiction of a more traditional sort across Facebook to promote the movie. The studio worked with fan-fiction site Wattpad to enlist writers to craft... Read more »

Universal Cable Productions Wants to Turn Wattpad Fan-Fiction Into TV Shows

Hollywood development execs for years have trolled blogs, YouTube and other internet sources in the hopes of finding untapped diamond-in-the-rough talent. Now NBCUniversal’s Universal Cable Productions is looking to excavate fresh ideas for TV shows from the internet in a more methodical way, driven by a Big Data approach: The studio has partnered with Wattpad, a user-generated… Read more »

Hollywood development execs for years have trolled blogs, YouTube and other internet sources in the hopes of finding untapped diamond-in-the-rough talent. Now NBCUniversal’s Universal Cable Productions is looking to excavate fresh ideas for TV shows from the internet in a more methodical way, driven by a Big Data approach: The studio has partnered with Wattpad, a user-generated... Read more »