Stampede Sets Up ‘The Great Gatsby’ Origin Story

Greg Silverman’s Stampede is ramping up its TV operations with the hire of Paul Shapiro as Head of Television. The company already has set up two drama projects, The Great Gatsby origin series Gatz about a mixed-race Jay Gatsby, which is in development at YouTube Premium; and the recently announced Witnesses, which is in the works at Fox through 20th Century Fox TV.

In his new role, Shapiro will oversee all development, acquisitions, and production on television and digital series for the entertainment company, launched by former Warner Bros. film president Silverman.

Shapiro has spent the last year operating independently as a producer under his All In Media banner, and will fold his existing projects into Stampede. They include Gatz and Witnesses, on which Shapiro serves as executive producer alongside Silverman.

Written/executive produced by SC Sansiveri, Gatz is based on the academic theory that F. Scott Fitzgerald was writing about a mixed-race man in Jay Gatsby. The series is a retelling of the tale through that very lens, embracing the cultural aspects of the time during the height of the Harlem Renaissance.

Witnesses was originally developed under Shapiro’s All In Media banner alongside actor-producer Mark-Paul Gosselaar before being brought to Stampede. Melissa Scrivner-Love is set to write and will executive produce alongside Gosselaar.

Based on the French format, Witnesses follows Sandra Perkins, a 35-year-old (yet still rookie) detective in her first weeks back on the Lexington, Kentucky police force after a mysterious ten-year hiatus who finds herself working on the most horrific homicide the region has seen in over a decade. In order to end this killer’s spree, Sandra must seek answers from Helen Lane, retired Homicide Detective who should have been Sandra’s mentor, but who is actually the reason Sandra left the force years ago.

The projects join Stampede’s film development slate which includes adaptations of James Riley’s middle-grade fantasy Revenge of Magic, Sam Marsden’s dystopian YA novel Under Glass, and of the popular video game Dance Dance Revolution.

“I couldn’t be happier to have Paul join Stampede to spearhead our new Television division,” said Silverman. “Paul is one of the most forward-thinking and creative executives working in television today. With experience as a buyer as well as an independent producer, he knows the market from every angle and has great taste and relationships with some of the industry’s top talent.”

Shapiro was previously the SVP in charge of scripted development at Syfy, as well as the Head of Television at Mandeville Films. With over 20 years of executive and producing experience, he has developed and overseen numerous television series, including most recently The Expanse, The Magicians, 12 Monkeys and Channel Zero, as well as ABC’s Detroit 187.’

Via Deadline

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