As Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements ramp up production from their Tomorrow Studios panel, they have identified the first project they plan to release via their new deal with Julia Garner.
Garner and production partner Rowan Riley, via her company Alma-Margo, struck a first-sight deal with Tomorrow earlier this year. Their first series will be a drama about an international jewelry heist called “Balaposta”.
“She’s very engaged and involved every step of the way,” Adelstein said of Garner. “This is probably one of the best deals we have ever done. We are really happy to work with her.”
Garner is, of course, well on his way to making an appearance, having netted Emmy nominations this week in both the lead actress in a limited series (for “Inventing Anna”) and a supporting actress in a drama (for “Ozark”). Garner has already received two Emmys, having won the Ozark in 2019 and 2020 in supporting drama.
“Balabusta” is one of several projects in various forms of development at Tomorrow Studios. as such diverse Exclusively announced Wednesday, Tomorrow has also struck a deal with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions to adapt Jonathan Frazen’s novel “Freedom” into a series.
“Freedom,” released in 2010 and named one of the New York Times Top 10 Books of the Year, will be adapted into a television series by writer and playwright Melanie Marnish (“The Affair”, “Big Love”). The story follows a Saint Paul couple who started out as idealistic parents, but begin to question everything as American society around them begins to crumble.
“The book is great and there’s nothing better than getting material from a writer like Melanie Marnish,” says Clements.
It’s part of a growth spurt for Tomorrow Studios, which Adelstein founded in partnership with ITV Studios in 2014. Clements, who has worked with Adelstein for over a decade (including at her previous company with Shawn Levy, 21 Laps/Adelstein) and has been with Tomorrow since its launch And he was promoted to his side last year.
“I’ve known Becky for 25 years, and we’ve been together now for about 12 years,” Adelstein says. “We kind of speak the same language.”
Clements adds, “What Marty and I set out to do is have total creative independence with a great partnership with ITV, and stay close to actual production of TV series. Ditch the layers, stay close to the people who have the real talent, and let’s make great TV.” It took a moment for people to say “Oh, you’re producers for hire,” and we say, “No, we’re not. We are deficit financing. We offer great networking creative materials on a tight budget.”
Tomorrow is behind TNT’s “Snowpiercer” that will conclude with its upcoming fourth season, and “Physical” on Apple TV+ starring Rose Byrne. Currently, Netflix live events are being produced on the manga series “One Piece” and “Let the Right One In” starring Demian Bichir for Showtime.
“I figured it out early on in order to attract the talent we wanted to work with, it was all about having the best IP in the world,” Adelstein says. “To that end, I started going to Japan. It took me two years, and I go four times a year to get them to trust us with anime stuff to deliver in live action shows. We go to Scandinavia, we go all over the world and we mine that IP. Now, we’re in the expansion phase where we’re going to bring in some other people, and we’re going to build it up a little bit more.”
This recently included the appointment of Tony Sabastina, a former Bruckheimer Television executive, as Senior Vice President of Development. Also last year, Tomorrow struck a first-sight deal with London-based Frank Spotnitz’s Big Light Prods, which focuses on international space; And in 2020, the company launched a joint adult animation project with Nick Weidenfeld called Work Friends, which produces the Steve Dildarian series “10 Year Old Tom” for HBO Max. Then, “We’re in the middle of negotiating with a lot of people Marty and I’ve known for many years who themselves are capable of making four or five strings on their own,” Clements says.
The biggest disappointment along the way was “Cowboy Bebop,” which finally released last year after delays caused by COVID-19, as well as an injury to star John Cho. After all, the show was quickly canceled by Netflix. “Heartbreak,” Clements says. “Something at the moment just didn’t work with the public.”
“Cowboy Bebop” is still receiving an Emmy Award nomination this week, for its headline design, while “Snowpiercer” earned its first-ever nod, in single-episode visual effects.
Meanwhile, the duo say they broker a choice between one or two new properties per month. Next, they would like to expand the comedy brand Tomorrow.
“Marty and I have done a lot of comedies today, and I think we really want to launch our comedies in a bigger way,” Clements said. “We love it. Personally, I think one hour is going to be a half hour, and we’re going to move in this 30-minute area of programming across the board. We love the great comedic sounds, so we’re really trying to capture that aspect of the action.”
With Physical Season 2 wrapping up on Apple TV+, Clements said she’s “so proud of Annie Wiseman, who created it, and the emergence of [Byrne] Very involved, along with Stephanie Laing, our manager.”
Tomorrow Studios currently has a small staff of about a dozen CEOs. Adelstein says he doesn’t expect to get much bigger, but rather is focusing on other ways to grow the company.
“We’ve come close to being able to absorb what we can handle because we have a number of shows lined up behind the ones we have,” he says. “So what I want to do is bring in some branded bargains, bring in some really slick non-writing executive producers who can make sure the company has a steady flow of material and upcoming shows. In that business, you never know — two shows might get canceled one day. , and three shows are selected the next day. I want to make sure the company keeps producing and keeps moving forward, but it never gets old.
“What I love about this company is everything we dream about that we seem to be able to do,” adds Adelstein. “Snowpiercer came because I was watching the movie with my wife, and I loved it so much that I said I was going to do a TV show of it. It took me two years to track down the rights.” “Let The Right One In” was the one my daughter showed me seven years ago… This is it The most fun I have ever had.”