‘What’s Going On’ Screenwriter & Playwright Marcus Gardley Strikes Overall TV Deal With Amazon Studios

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EXCLUSIVE: Marcus Gardley, the screenwriter behind the upcoming Marvin Gaye biopic What’s Going On, has struck an overall television deal with Amazon Studios.

The deal reunites Gardley, a well-known playwright, with the streamer, after he started his television career with the company writing on shows such as Z: The Beginning of Everything. He will develop, create and produce television series for the firm.

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On stage, he’s won awards such as the 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2019 Obie Award for The House That Will Not Stand and received buzz for his play X or the Nation v Betty Shabazz.

On the television side, he’s written on Amazon’s dark absurdist comedy I’m A Virgo from Sorry to Bother You writer-director Boots Riley and starring Jharrel Jerome, as well as Mindhunter and Maid for Netflix, Showtime’s The Chi, and Fox’s The Exorcist.

Last month, Deadline revealed that he was writing What’s Going On, the Gaye biopic produced by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine and directed by Allen Hughes for Warner Bros. He also wrote the screenplay for The Color Purple Musical, which is also in pre-production with the studio.

“I am extremely honored to be working with Amazon Studios. I started my television career at Amazon so this is very much a homecoming for me and I could not be happier,” said Gardley. “Their commitment to telling high-quality, global, and game-changing stories speaks directly to my passion as a writer.”

“The theatre world has long been on notice of Marcus’ incredible gifts as a writer and producer,” added Albert Cheng, Amazon’s Co-Head of Television and COO. “We’re so proud to have him now at Amazon Studios developing and creating stories for our global Prime Video audience.”

Gardley is repped by WME, Manage-ment and Jackaway Austin Tyerman.

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