Viva Maude inked a two-year first-look deal with HBO and HBO Max and according to reports, already has two shows headed for development. Thompson is kicking off the partnership by executive producing two book adaptations for Who Fears Death and The Secret Lives of Church Ladies.
Who Fears Death is an adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor’s novel of the same name, also tapping George R.R. Martin as another executive producer on the project. The coming of age tale follows the protagonist Onyesowu, and is set in post-apocalyptic Central Africa. Okorafor’s main character “must go on a journey from self-reproach to love, but to do so she’ll have to overcome untold obstacles—defeating her hated sorcerer father and becoming the instrument of prophetic deliverance for a land of oppressed people, all the while fighting to master the terrifying powers growing inside her.”
Tessa’s second adaptation for The Secret Lives of Church Ladies comes from the short story collection written by Deesha Philyaw, which contains nine stories that encapsulate themes of Black womanhood, sexuality, and their often contradictory relationship with the repressive nature of the church.
“I’m beyond thrilled to officially launch my production company, Viva Maude, which has been a real passion project and labour of love over the last few years,” Thompson said in a statement to Deadline. “I’m elated to begin this partnership and to bring entertaining and impactful television projects to my friends and collaborators at HBO and HBO Max. Together we are committed to developing interesting and inclusive stories with inventive creators and to discover new voices and visionaries.”