Kerry Washington is set to work with Disney. According to Deadline, Washington has teamed up with Disney Branded Television to produce a movie adaptation of From The Desk Of Zoe Washington, based on Janae Marks’ critically acclaimed book of the same name.
Kerry Washington will produce under Simpson Street Productions banner alongside Gamechanger Films. The announcement was made Wednesday at Disney’s virtual TCA session.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington centers around middle-schooler and aspiring pastry chef Zoe, who sets her sights auditioning as a contestant on Food Network’s “Kids Bake Challenge” the summer before seventh grade. One day, Zoe receives a letter from her father, Marcus, who was sent to prison right before she was born. Because Zoe’s mom has never wanted her to have a relationship with Marcus, Zoe keeps the letter a secret. Zoe and her father soon begin corresponding regularly and Marcus shares his favorite songs with her and is supportive of her baking-competition dreams. When Marcus proclaims his innocence, Zoe is shocked: How could someone innocent end up in prison? With the help of her grandmother and her friend Trevor, Zoe begins to learn about systemic racism and how Marcus may have found himself unjustly imprisoned and embarks on a quest to set her biological father free.
Simpson Street’s Washington and Pilar Savone will executive produce with Effie T. Brown (Dear White People) for Gamechanger Films.
Ayo Davis, executive vice president, Creative Development and Strategy, Disney Branded Television shared a statement Wednesday on the news:
“Marks’ book does a beautiful job of delicately weaving together the challenges and triumphs of life and the enormity of social injustice and systemic racism through the lens of an almost-seventh grader. This is a perfect example of the type of premium storytelling that will not only entertain but will touch our audience on many levels as they see these topical issues reflected on the screen.”
The book has received tons of accolades including being on the #1 Kids Indie Next List, Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year, Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of the Year, SLJ Best Book of the Year, Kirkus Best Book of the Year, Junior Library Guild Selection, Edgar Award Nominee, Four Starred Reviews, and and NPR’s 100 Favorite Books for Young Readers.
It is unknown at this time if the movie is being developed for Disney Channel or if it will make its debut on Disney+.