Thriller to Be Directed by Francis Lawrence and Executive Produced by Matt Charman
LOS ANGELES - August 23, 2021 - MRC Television and Civic Center Media, the studio’s affiliation with United Talent Agency (UTA), are in market with “Steel,” a 1970s drama set in London about a fiercely ambitious arms dealer with multi-hyphenate award-winning artist Cynthia Erivo (“Genius: Aretha Franklin,” “The Outsider”) attached to star and executive produce.
- Cast: Cynthia Erivo
- Writers: Adam Gyngell, Fred Fernandez Armesto
- Director: Francis Lawrence
- Executive Producers: Cynthia Erivo and Solome Williams via their Edith’s Daughter banner, Matt Charman via Binocular, Francis Lawrence and Cameron MacConomy via about:blank, Adam Gyngell and Fred Fernandez Armesto
- Co-Executive Producers: Binocular’s Valery Ryan and Annelie Simmons
- Logline: Set in London in the 1970s, “Steel” explores a self-made woman’s rise to power as Madeline Crowe (Erivo), a fiercely ambitious arms dealer who seizes control of her own destiny in a high-octane and dangerous profession dominated by her male colleagues. The daughter of Nigerian immigrants, driven by an insatiable hunger to win at all costs, yet beholden to her son as a single mother, Crowe is forced to confront the kind of person, deep down, she really is. Through “Steel'' we see how choices made by individuals desperate in pursuit of money and power shape the geopolitical landscape of our present, and how women like Madeline were the vanguards.
- “Steel” was developed and brought to MRC Television and Civic Center Media by Binocular, Matt Charman’s production company based in London, along with Francis Lawrence and Cameron MacConomy of about: blank. Oscar nominated Charman (“The Mothership,” “Bridge of Spies”) will executive produce through Binocular, along with co-executive producers Valery Ryan and Annelie Simmons.
- Erivo and Williams will executive produce via their Edith’s Daughter production shingle, which is under a first look deal with MRC Television and Civic Center Media, and where Edith’s Daughter Vice President Solome Williams shepherded the project alongside Charman.
- Cynthia Erivo is a Grammy®, Emmy®, and Tony® Award-winning actress, singer, songwriter and producer, as well as Academy Award®, Golden Globe®, and SAG nominee. Erivo burst onto West End and Broadway stages in ”The Color Purple” and has since taken the world by storm in films such as “Bad Times at the El Royale,” “Widows” and “Harriet,” which earned her two Academy Award® nominations for Lead Actress and Best Original Song. On the small screen, Erivo was recently nominated for a 2021 Emmy® for her critically-acclaimed portrayal of Aretha Franklin in National Geographic’s ”Genius: Aretha.” In 2020, Erivo starred in “The Outsider,” from MRC Television, HBO’s psychological horror-crime thriller based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel. This September, Erivo will be releasing “Ch 1. Vs. 1”. Her solo debut album, this is an extremely personal collection of work in which Cynthia narrates various experiences in her life through music. Also in September, Erivo will be publishing debut children’s book, “Remember to Dream, Ebere.” Erivo recently wrapped production on two highly anticipated projects; Apple TV+’s “Roar,” a female-driven anthology and Disney’s live-action retelling of “Pinocchio.” Directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks, Erivo will play the iconic role of the Blue Fairy. It was recently announced that Erivo will star in and produce a remake of “The Rose” with Searchlight. While the new production will pay homage to the classic film, Erivo’s take on the story will put a contemporary lens on the high price of fame. In August 2020, Erivo launched her production company, Edith’s Daughter, and announced her first-look deal with MRC Television and Civic Center Media. Edith’s Daughter focuses on projects that express the beauty in the stories and people who are often overlooked and underrepresented.
- Erivo is represented by UTA, Authentic Talent and Literary Management, ID and Peikoff Mahan.
- Writing team Adam Gyngell & Fred Fernandez Armesto, creators and executive producers of “Steel,” have written episodes on “White Dragon” for Amazon/ITV and “Shogun” for FX. “Steel” is inspired by the life of Fred’s grandmother, and her career as a secret agent selling arms for the British government.
- Adam Gyngell and Fred Fernandez Armesto are represented by CAA, Grandview, and Saylescreen.
- Grammy winner Francis Lawrence is set to direct and will also serve as executive producer, along with his about:blank producing partner Cameron MacConomy who will executive produce. Lawrence directed three out of three of the four “Hunger Games” films (“Catching Fire,” “Mockingjay Part 1” and “Part 2”) and is in post on “Slumberland” starring Jason Momoa for Netflix.
- Lawrence is represented by CAA, 3 Arts and Hansen, Jacobson.
- Matt Charman recently wrapped his directorial debut with MRC Film, “The Mothership,” for Netflix, starring Halle Berry. Charman was nominated for an Academy Award for his “Bridge of Spies” screenplay with Joel and Ethan Cohen, a film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks.
- Charman is represented by CAA, Grandview, Independent Talent Group, and Hansen Jacobson.
About MRC Television
MRC Television is a leading independent studio, which sources, finances, develops, and produces shows in partnership with the industry’s foremost creative artists. The studio’s series have been nominated for 94 Emmy® Awards and 18 Golden Globe® Awards. The current slate includes “Ozark,” from Chris Mundy and starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner, on Netflix; “The Great,” from Tony McNamara, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, on Hulu; “The Shrink Next Door,” starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd and from director Michael Showalter and writer Georgia Pritchett for Apple TV+; “The Terminal List,” starring Chris Pratt and from director Antoine Fuqua and writer David DiGilio, with Amazon Studios; “Shining Girls,” starring Elisabeth Moss, written by Silka Luisa, and directed by Moss, Michelle MacLaren and Daina Reed for Apple TV+; the Rian Johnson series “Poker Face,” with T-Street and starring Natasha Lyonne for Peacock; “Hello Tomorrrow!” starring Billy Crudup, from creators Amit Bhalla and Lucas Jansen and director Jonathan Entwistle for Apple TV+; and “Ted,” a live-action series for Peacock, based on Seth McFarlane’s feature film released by Universal Pictures with MRC Film. MRC Television series include “The Outsider,” “House of Cards'' and “Counterpart,” among others. For additional information, visit www.mrcentertainment.com.
About Civic Center Media
Civic Center Media (CCM) is an affiliation between United Talent Agency (UTA) and MRC Television to develop, produce and finance premium television series. The non-exclusive arrangement allows Civic Center Media to work with artists represented by all agencies and allows UTA and MRC to work with all studios and agencies, respectively. The collaboration has created a rich content slate with a variety of projects in development and current series which include “The Great,” from Academy Award nominee Tony McNamara and starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult; “The Terminal List'' starring Chris Pratt for Amazon; and “The Shrink Next Door” starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd for Apple TV+.