“Get Millie Black”, Booker Prizewinning author Marlon James’ landmark screenwriting debut, greenlit by Channel 4 and HBO
A vivid, unflinching, and gripping six-part crime noir following the inimitable Millie-Jean Black, a police detective forced to quit Scotland Yard and return home to Jamaica, where she’s soon pursuing a missing persons case that threatens to expose more than she may be willing to confront.
Channel 4 and HBO have greenlit the brand new 6-part drama produced by Motive Pictures (backed by Endeavour Content).
Marlon James’ Get Millie Black is a true original; a vivid, blistering slice of contemporary noir driven by a truly iconic woman, the formidable Millie-Jean Black. Returning to her roots from her troubled life in London, to work missing person’s cases for the Jamaican police force, Millie soon picks up the trail of an investigation that begins in the steaming streets of downtown Kingston and works its way up to the hill plantations of the post-colonial elite. Events eventually explode onto the international stage, propelling Millie back to the UK, where pretty soon everyone is out to get Millie Black.
Marlon James has created a deeply personal and wholly authentic version of a Jamaica never seen on screen before. Get Millie Black explores the troubled legacy of racism, slavery, sexuality, classism and cycles of trauma in the post-colonial landscape of Britain and Jamaica, always told through the unique perspective of Millie – a girl born on the Rock, raised in London, who claims to be both British and Jamaican, yet somehow belongs to neither place. It is a story peopled by a host of unforgettable characters; transgender ‘gully queen’ Hibiscus, the sibling Millie left behind; her brilliant partner on the Jamaican police force, Curtis, who is forced to keep his love life secret from his colleagues; game-playing Scotland Yard Inspector Luke Osbourne; and Hit Girl, go-go-club owner and underworld entrepreneur.
Get Millie Black is a gripping international mystery and a compelling manhunt told in six parts through the eyes of six people, each with their own bias and beef, all of whom believe they know the true Millie Black, perhaps the deepest mystery of all.
Marlon James says, “My mother was one of the first policewomen in Jamaica to make detective. Storytelling has always struck me first and foremost as a mystery to be solved—which I’m sure I got from her. Millie, from the second she appeared in my imagination was a brilliant, mercurial, hilarious, unpredictable force of nature; someone who was always there, just waiting for her story to be told. I didn’t create her, I found her.”
Caroline Hollick, Head of Channel 4 drama says, “Marlon James is one of the literary superstars of our generation and to be able to greenlight his first original drama series is nothing short of a total privilege. Get Millie Black is every bit the smart, bold and complex piece of storytelling that you would expect from Marlon, it’s a tale that digs deep into identity and belonging but it’s one that is firmly at home on Channel 4 and embodies everything that our drama should be about. The scripts are utterly enthralling, Millie came to us already living and breathing on the page and I can’t wait to see her step off of it and captivate audiences on screen.”
Simon Maxwell, CEO of Motive Pictures adds, “Marlon James has set the literary world on fire with his novels and we’re so proud to be producing his first original work for the screen. With Get Millie Black, he’s created a noir tour-de-force, an unrelenting, uncompromising ride through the Anglo-Jamaican underworld that will grip and entertain whilst shining a light into the darkest recesses of our post-colonial legacy. We can’t wait for audiences to meet Millie Black; she’s found her perfect home on Channel 4 and HBO.”
Francesca Orsi, Executive Vice President, HBO Programming adds, “With Get Millie Black, Marlon James has achieved the extraordinary, invigorating noir storytelling by bringing it to his native Jamaica through a dazzling mosaic of shifting perspectives. He is one of the most prolific and imaginative authors of our time and we’re honored that he has entrusted HBO with this thrilling and deeply personal story.”
Get Millie Black will go into production in 2022, filming in the UK and Jamaica and has been commissioned by Caroline Hollick, Head of Drama at Channel 4 and Francesca Orsi at HBO. The series will be produced by Motive Pictures, the production company founded by Simon Maxwell after leaving his role as Head of International Drama at Channel 4. Executive Producers are Simon Maxwell (Motive Pictures), Marlon James and Leopoldo Gout. Director and casting info will follow in due course.