Following a competitive bidding process, Warner Bros. will co-produce “Pretty Big,” a biopic about Akira Armstrong, founder of the body positive Pretty Big Movement dance company, that will stream on HBO Max. Tona Mabry (“Pose,” “Women of The Movement”) will direct and co-write the film with Dan Steele (“Gossip Girl”).
“Pretty Big” will be produced by Mike Jackson of Get Lifted Film Co., Poppy Hanks and Jelani Johnson of MACRO, and Kristina Sorenson at Warner Bros. It will be executive produced by Armstrong, alongside John Legend and Ty Stiklorius of Get Lifted and Charles D. King and James F. Lopez of MACRO.
The film will tell Armstrong’s story as “a young plus-sized woman” who “takes matters into her own hands when she keeps getting rejected from dance companies, despite her obvious talent. When she starts her own company for bodies of all shapes, sizes, and colors, she sets out to win a prestigious competition and prove to the dance community that anyone can dance at an elite level.”
Get Lifted’s MacKenzie Marlowe will serve as associate producer. Cate Adams and Diamond McNeil will oversee the project for Warner Bros.
“Our mission at Get Lifted Film Co. is to continue telling compelling stories of people that are often marginalized, and we are so thrilled to be a part of bringing Akira’s journey to the world with our friends at MACRO and the incredible creative team led by Tina Mabry. It’s a true gift,” Jackson said in a statement.
“The best part about this experience has been getting to know Akira and bring her story to a new medium, everyone can relate to having a dream and having to build their own opportunities. I’m also beyond thrilled to be working with this talented team on this special story,” Sorensen said.
“Akira’s story captures the essence of why we’re in this business. Our experience working alongside Dan, Tina, Kristina and Get Lifted has only amplified our desire to bring this story to the screen. This is a project that speaks to MACRO’s commitment to telling compelling, commercial stories through a culturally authentic lens,” Hanks and Johnson said in a joint statement.
Get Lifted is represented by WME and Nina Shaw, Jean Tanaka and Kevin Garlitz of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finklestein and Lezcano; Sorensen is represented by Jesse Nord at The Nord Group; Mabry is represented by WME, M88 and attorney Tara Kole; Steele is represented by Lit Entertainment Group and attorney Ryan Nord at The Nord Group.