Actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's Pearl Street Films will be working with Portal A on a scripted sci-fi series that focuses on an insidious alien invasion disguised as an epidemic. Portal A, backed by Brent Montgomery's Wheelhouse, has been working on producing digitally native content for over a decade. Founded by Nate Houghteling, Zach Blume, and Kai Hasson, their partnership with Pearl Street Films is probably their biggest partnership to date. The Affleck-Damn studio previously worked on Manchester By the Sea and is behind Ridley Scott's upcoming The Last Duel. It's also behind the Kevin Bacon-starred series City on a Hill for Showtime, according to Deadline Hollywood.
Created by writer/director Kholi Hicks, the untitled sci-fi horror drama is going to be set in Atlanta where two rival sisters on the front lines – a paramedic and a CDC microbiologist uncover the true nature of the outbreak and must put aside their personal differences in order to stop the invasion from spreading. Pearl Street's Fanshen Cox and producer Brittany Turner will develop the series. Pearl Street and Portal A are pitching to broadcasters and streamers. Hicks worked on TV movies Adventures of Avery & Pete, Mollys Deliver, and the TV series Time out with Yes Please!. In addition to being an executive at Pearl Street, Cox also acted in numerous projects including TV shows like Closet Space and The Mentalist. She also had a bit role in the critically-acclaimed Argo (2012), which Affleck directed and starred in.
"It is about these timely subjects and about this younger generation and it really resonates with buyers. The savvy production companies from the traditional world understand that when it comes to speaking to this new generation, oftentimes on platforms that are new to them, you can't fake it," Houghteling told Deadline on his past experience creating content for YouTube and Snapchat. "It's refreshing to see Hollywood A-listers seek out and promote storytellers from newer platforms. Matt and Ben had global success before they could put rental cars under their own names so it's not surprising that their company would want to collaborate with young, maverick talent. Portal A is producing ninjas with an amazing track record creating for and speaking to a new generation – they are great partners for us and for this new universe."
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