ENTERTAINMENT
30/04/2019 18:45 BST

Barack And Michelle Obama Announce First Slate Of Netflix Projects

They include a kids' show, feature films and a documentary series.

Barack and Michelle Obama have unveiled a slate of projects in development for Netflix, a year after the former president and first lady signed a deal with the streaming platform.

The Obamas’ company, Higher Ground Productions, has announced a total of seven films and series that Barack said will entertain but also “educate, connect and inspire us all”.

The first film will be a biopic about Frederick Douglass, a key figure in American history, who became part of the abolitionist movement after escaping slavery himself. 

The movie will be adapted from David W. Blight’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography about Douglass.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Obamas 

The production company is also planning is an adaptation of The New York Times Overlooked obituary column, about deaths unreported by the paper.

Netflix and the Obamas have acquired the rights to the Sundance Film Festival documentary American Factory, which focusses on a Chinese-owned factory in post-industrial Ohio.

A documentary about the work of the disability rights movement, titled Crip Camp, is also in the works and the fifth project, a series based on The Big Short writer Michael Lewis’ book The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, is a documentary series. 

The sixth production, drama series Bloom, is set in post-Second World War New York. 

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Michelle recently became a best-selling author, when her autobiography sold over 10 million copies 

The final one announced (so far) is entirely different – a half-hour series for pre-schoolers called Listen To Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents, that will “take young children and their families around the globe on an adventure that tells us the story of our food”.

In a statement announcing the slate of films and shows, the former president said: “Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect and inspire us all.”

The Obamas struck their multi-million dollar deal with Netflix in 2018 and while they’re the first former White House residents to do so, they’re the latest in a long line of famous faces who have paired up with the streaming service. 

Last month, Beyoncé released her Coachella documentary Homecoming on the platform and Shonda Rimes – the TV titan behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal – has an impressive eight Netflix shows in the works. 

Ryan Murphy (the man behind Glee, American Horror Story and Pose, to name just three hits) also has a Netflix deal that is reportedly worth $300 million.