'Insecure' Director to Adapt Man Booker Prize-Winning Novel for Amazon Studios (Exclusive)

Courtesy of CAA; Courtesy of Oneworld Publications
Melina Matsoukas

Marlon James is writing the adaptation of 'A Brief History of Seven Killings' with Jill Soloway, Eric Roth and Malcolm Spellman on board as executive producers.

Melina Matsoukas, chief director of the HBO series Insecure, is tackling an adaptation of the award-winning Marlon James novel A Brief History of Seven Killings for Amazon Studios.

Matsoukas is developing the project as a series and will executive produce as well as direct the episodes. Teaming with her is James, who will write the script as well as executive produce, while Malcolm Spellman, a writer and co-executive producer on Empire, will be the showrunner and exec produce as well.

Seven Killings begins with the attempted assassination of reggae icon Bob Marley and explores its aftermath, looking at one vital day in multiple time periods. The novel looked at Jamaican politics, poverty, race, class and the volatile relationship between the U.S. and the Caribbean, and traced the connection between CIA efforts to destabilize a left-wing Jamaican government in the 1970s to the brutal realities of gang wars in the Kingston ghettos and their spread to New York in the 1980s.

A Brief History of Seven Killings is a complex story that needs to be told, about a people whose voices need to be heard,” Matsoukas said Monday in a statement. “It’s been my dream to bring this story to life onscreen since reading the first line of Marlon’s book. I am deeply honored to be entrusted with this tapestry of stories so entrenched in roots, reggae, race, mysticism and politics, while working alongside Marlon to ensure an authentic portrayal of his words.”

Other big names involved with the project include Transparent creator Jill Soloway and her Topple Productions partner Andrea Sperling, who are exec producing. Eric Roth, who wrote Forrest Gump as well as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is also exec producing.  

Carly Kahane will oversee the series for Topple.

Matsoukas made a name for herself in the video world directing spots for Beyonce, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. However, she has quickly become highly sought-after for both television and film with her work on Insecure. She has also directed episodes of Netflix's Master of None.

Matsoukas is repped by CAA, MXN Entertainment and attorney Bianca Levin of Gang, Tyre. James is repped by UTA and Ellen Levine at Trident Media Group.

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