Viola Davis fresh off her great and potential Oscar nominated performance in The Help is taking her "klout" score to the bank as she should. She's started a production company and is getting into bed with HBO which seems to be a right of passage nowadays.
According to my IndieWIRE colleagues at Shadow and Act, (a site you should check out) Davis has optioned The Personal History of Rachel DuPree written by Ann Weisgarber. It's a period piece set in the Badlands in 1917 about a family of African American homesteaders. More details here.
That project seems a bit further into the future, but the HBO series sounds like a front burner potential winner. Viola Davis is teaming up with Pariah writer/Director Dee Rees (when is that movie coming out it feels like we have been waiting forever) and Margaret Nagle (who won and Emmy for writing Warm Springs) to take the lead in a half hour HBO series on corruption told through the eyes of a school headmaster (question - would that be Davis' part?)
Nagle reached by email commented: "I worship the talent of Viola Davis and think Dee is such a fresh and exciting voice to write this idea. Kind of a dream come true."
Not that I want to heap any pressure on the team but I'm still waiting for the next great HBO series to tackle social issues like The Wire did.
Could this be the one?
Viola Davis Circling New HBO Drama Series (Hollywood Reporter)