Onyx Collective develops drama Sheba

By Content Nigeria reporter
January 27, 2023


Disney’s Onyx Collective is in development on a drama series from Proximity Media about the first queen in Africa.

Joseph Patel

Sheba explores the rise to power of the first queen on the continent of Africa as she seeks to unite the nation now known as Ethiopia, making it one of the richest, most formidable kingdoms in the world.

Inspired by true events, the series follows the queen into a world of danger, deceit and political intrigue as she is forced to step into a role that no one, including her, ever imagined as the Queen of Sheba.

The one-hour drama series is co-created by Chantelle Wells (Yellowjackets) and Azie Tesfai (Supergirl) and will be written by Wells.

Proximity Media has an overall deal with Onyx Collective and its founders Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler and Sev Ohanian will exec produce with exec VP Kalia King, Wells and Tesfai.

Meanwhile, Onyx Collective has signed an overall deal with Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Joseph Patel, who recently produced the feature Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) with Onyx Collective for Disney-owned Hulu.

Under the terms of the agreement, Patel will produce, write and direct new projects for Onyx Collective through his production company Dub Version.

It will kick off with documentary feature film Untitled Sly Stone (working title), with Patel on producing and writing duties, while Summer of Soul director Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson will direct.

The doc will be produced by MRC, Network Entertainment, Sylvester Stewart, Two One Five Entertainment, Stardust Films and ID8 Multimedia in association with Sony Music Entertainment.

The producers said the film tells the story behind the rise, reign and fadeout of one of pop music’s most influential artists and, in doing so, tells a very human story about the cost of genius.

In related news, Hulu has acquired documentary film Anthem from Proximity Media and Sony Pictures Television’s This Machine after it was picked up by Onyx Collective.

Anthem follows composer Kris Bowers and music producer Dahi as they take a musical journey across the US to create a new sound, inspired by what the country’s national anthem might be if written in today’s time.