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Boat Rocker Media has acquired a minority equity stake in Dakota Johnson and Ro Donnelly’s TeaTime Pictures.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction extends a two-year-old first-look deal between Platform One Media, later rebranded as Boat Rocker Studios, and TeaTime to develop and produce scripted and unscripted TV and digital content.
In addition, Katie O’Connell Marsh will leave her role as vice-chair of Boat Rocker Studios and join TeaTime as a partner, while signing an overall deal with Boat Rocker. O’Connell Marsh came to Boat Rocker when that indie studio acquired Platform One Media and has overseen creative relationships established with actors, directors and writers who want to set up their own production companies and develop their own content, like Johnson has with the TeaTime banner.
“Dakota and Ro are building TeaTime into a cultural platform with massive creative and commercial promise. The addition of Katie’s experience and acumen to this growing enterprise will undoubtedly supercharge TeaTime’s existing robust slate and ambitions,” David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, co-executive chairmen of Boat Rocker Media, said in a statement.
With its new equity investment, TeaTime will continue operating as an independent business, with Boat Rocker offering production financing and operational support.
Last year, Boat Rocker optioned the memoir Cult Following, from writer Bexy Cameron, with Dakota Johnson attached to star and TeaTime to executive produce. The series remains in development with Boat Rocker under the first-look deal.
“Boat Rocker’s belief and investment in us and our future is humbling and inspiring. As a company that was founded purely on ambition, big dreams and our shared love of film and television, Ro and I could not be more excited to partner with Katie O’Connell Marsh, whose wisdom and expertise are vital to our growing brand,” Johnson and Donnelly said in their own statement.
While joining TeaTime, O’Connell Marsh will continue to executive produce the current slate of scripted projects at Boat Rocker. TeaTime will have two feature films — Cha Cha Real Smooth and Am I OK? — screening at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.
TeaTime is also producing Daddio, with Dakota Johnson and Sean Penn attached to star, with Christy Hall to write and direct. Boat Rocker’s slate includes American Rust for Showtime; Invasion, Dear … and Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry for Apple TV+; Go-Big Show for TBS; and Dino Ranch for Disney+.
Boat Rocker also has first-look deals with Lena Headey’s Peephole Productions, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s Maroon Visions, Stephanie Langhoff’s High Tide Productions, and Shamier Anderson and Stephan James’ Bay Mills Studios.
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