Kim Johnson’s award-winning novel This Is My America is set to be adapted as a television show on HBO Max. Published last year in the wake of George Floyd’s brutal murder by police officer Derek Chauvin, the book traverses through the injustices imposed on Black people by white communities.
Now Variety has reported that after winning a multiple-channel bidding war, Erik Feig’s Los Angeles-based film production company Picturestart has acquired the television rights for This Is My America to be developed as a television series for streaming service HBO Max. It will be executively produced by Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, and Lis Rowinski under their Fake Empire banner.
Joining them is co-producer of Freeform’s upcoming series Single Drunk Female, Jessica Watson, who has been roped in to write the script while serving as an executive producer.
Johnson’s novel follows Tracy Beaumont, a seventeen-year-old budding social activist who has to save her father from death row. Additionally, she must also help her brother clear his name as one of the suspects for the murder of a white girl at their school.
The book dives into the racial injustices present in white-dominated society seen from the eyes of a Black Gen Z protagonist as Tracy begins to explore the mysterious web of secrets surrounding her hometown’s racist history. Unsurprisingly enough, Johnson too resembled Tracy in her youth and helmed social justice organizations during her teens.
Johnson currently serves as a college administrator in Oregon and works to maintain civic engagement in her community while also devoting her time to mentor young Black student activists. Execs Chloe Dan, Lucy Kitada, and Royce Reeves-Darby will supervise the project for Picturestart along with Johnson herself.
At present, Schwartz and Savage are working to produce the Gossip Girl reboot on HBO Max. Their other credits include Hulu’s adaptation of John Green’s novel Looking for Alaska and The CW’s Dynasty, and Nancy Drew.
On the other hand, Watson has written for Tracy Oliver’s upcoming series on Amazon Harlem, produced by Amy Poehler. Furthermore, she also wrote an episode for Pen15’s first season on Hulu.
Johnson is being represented by UTA Andrea Brown Literary Agency’s Jennifer March Soloway. But with the upcoming venture, the author could be looking into spreading her wings further and taking on newer projects.
About This Is My America
This Is My America is an upcoming television series at HBO Max. It is based on Kim Johnson’s novel of the same name.
The series will follow seventeen year old Tracy Beaumont, a social activist who must not only save her father from death row but also help her brother Jamal clear his name as one of the suspects for the murder of a white girl. As Tracy continues her investigation they lead her to the skeletons of her Texas town’s dark past.