“Killing Eve” writer Isis Davis is on board the first project out of “Tehran” executive producer Julien Leroux’s new company, Paper Entertainment.
Drama “Your Eyes” is in development at Paper, with Davis set to serve as writer. The series is centred on family, race and identity and told from the experience of an “unconventionally diverse modern family,” according to promotional materials.
Davis, an up-and-coming talent, is also an actor and recently starred in “The Secret Garden” with Colin Firth and Julie Walters. As an actor, she has also appeared in “Silent Witness” (BBC One), “Electric Dreams” (Channel 4) and the films “Bruno” and “Lie Low.” She won the Best Script Award at the 2017 British Urban Film Festival for her screenplay “Draw” and joined the writing team for BBC America’s “Killing Eve” and upcoming BBC One series “Champion.”
“Your Eyes” is based on the feature film and series “Il a déjà tes yeux,” created by Lucien Jean-Baptiste and Sébastien Mounier and Marie-Françoise Colombani. The format deal was secured with Nolita Cinema, Nolita TV, Ango Productions and TF1 Studio.
The series is focused on Black rights activist Yinka Oppong and her Rastafarian husband Paul, who wait on the adoption list for years before being presented with a white, blue-eyed baby. Sixteen years later, Paul and Yinka have three teenagers: their adopted white son, Benny, and Black biological twins, Theo and Lola. Wanting to shield their children from the realities of systemic racism and the truth behind their own past beliefs and prejudices, Paul and Yinka raised their children color-blind in a liberal, multicultural neighbourhood. But when Paul gets a new high-profile job, the family moves to an affluent, predominantly white town miles away, and must fight to stay together amid forces trying to tear them apart.
“As a mixed-race woman growing up in the ’90s, I experienced prejudice because my parents were a different race from me,” said Davis. “Now, I have two beautiful little girls of different races, one brown and one white and that is why this project is so close to my heart. I am delighted to be working with the wonderful team at Paper Entertainment and I am excited to be bringing such a poignant story to the screen.”
Leroux, founder and CEO of Paper Entertainment, said: “We are thrilled to be working on ‘Your Eyes,’ a series which addresses essential conversations surrounding the major issue of systemic racism. Isis is the absolute perfect voice for the series. She brings her own unique, personal background and life experience to explore the themes of racial identity, belonging, class and location.”
Leroux, the former senior VP of global scripted co-productions at Cineflix Media, formed Paper earlier this year. The outfit is on board as a co-producer on the recently announced second season of Apple TV Plus hit series “Tehran,” which begins shooting in Athens in September and stars Glenn Close. Leroux served as an executive producer on season 1, and struck the co-production deal with Apple.