"Selma" director Ava DuVernay is headed to the small screen for a new drama series on OWN with Oprah Winfrey. The series will be based on Natalie Baszile's first-time novel Queen Sugar, which tells the story of a young black mother who uproots from Los Angeles when her late father mysteriously leaves her an 800-acre sugarcane farm in Louisiana. DuVernay, who previously worked with Winfrey on "Selma," will write, direct and executive produce the series while Winfrey will executive produce and appear in multiple episodes.
"From the moment I was introduced to the book, I was captivated by the idea of a modern woman wrestling with identity, family, culture and the echoes of history," DuVernay said in a statement. Winfrey also echoed her love for the book upon first reading it, saying in a statement, "The story’s themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show.”
The Golden Globe-nominated director previously hinted at her first television project last December in an interview with The Guardian, saying it would be an eight to 10 episode series about "the black experience in America." The number of episodes of the untitled series have yet to be revealed, but production is expected to begin later this year.
DuVernay also recently announced that her next film will be a "sweeping love story and complex murder mystery" set against Hurricane Katrina. While DuVernay was not nominated in the Best Director category at this year's Oscars, "Selma" is up for Best Picture.