Ubisoft’s film and television division has signed a script deal with one of the recipients of this year’s Women’s Film and Television Fellowship.
Heather Quinn, a Los Angeles-based writer, will adapt her pitch into a script for a feature film. She was revealed as one of this year’s two recipients of the annual fellowship (which was launched in 2017 to “illuminate female voices within the entertainment industry”) in June, alongside Nneka Gerstle. Quinn’s pitch is described as an “original idea in the romantic comedy genre set against the backdrop of gaming culture.”
“There was time for me to explore a couple different options, but this idea was something [Ubisoft head of film and television] Jason [Altman], [director of film development] Margaret [Boykin] and I came up with together very early on,” Quinn tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We were all excited to keep building on the idea from the very start.”
“We’re really excited because Ubisoft Film & Television is really looking to tell more original stories set against the culture of gaming in addition to adapting our own IP,” adds Boykin.
One such project set to hit screens in the near future is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star and creator Rob McElhenney’s Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, a live-action comedy series for Apple+ that is set in a video game development studio. Elsewhere, Ubisoft has revealed a number of other film and television projects in the works, from a “cybermystery” series aimed at tweens based on the Watch Dogs franchise to a Tom Clancy’s The Division feature film starring Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal for Netflix to an animation/live-action hybrid film based on the Rabbids series at Lionsgate.
“While we would have been just as thrilled if Heather had picked one of our games to adapt, when she sparked this original idea it seemed like a great opportunity to continue to add more projects in that vein to our slate,” Boykin says. “And, honestly, I was just excited to work on a romantic comedy.”
Quinn grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona, and studied writing at St. Mary’s College and Oxford University before earning her Master of Arts from USC. Her 2017 feature screenplay, Moxie, appeared on that year’s Blacklist and was optioned by producer Peter Lawson. Lawson’s Steel Spring Pictures and Sugar23 are currently developing the film. She is also currently staffed on one of Marvel’s upcoming Disney Plus series.
“I love that Ubisoft designed a paid fellowship that aims to bring in more women to this space. Right there, they kind of had me at hello,” Quinn says of her initial interest in the fellowship program. “Beyond that, because the fellowship is paid, doesn’t limit other development and you have a good amount of time to work on the pitch, I felt like it was very much designed to support the writer’s process. The result is a product that we’re all very happy with.”
Ubisoft’s Women’s Film and Television Fellowship is currently accepting submissions for next year’s program through Jan. 31. Hopefuls must have representation and can submit samples and a statement of purpose to Ubisoft Film & Television through their agent or manager.
Two women or non-binary writers will be selected for the six-month, non-exclusive paid fellow where they will have the opportunity to explore Ubisoft’s library of IP, which includes such game franchises as Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Watch Dogs and more. Those chosen for the fellowship receive mentorship from Ubisoft Film & Television executives, including Altman, Boykin and director of television development Danielle Kreinik.