Millicent Simmonds is following up a blockbuster with her first leading role on the small screen. The “A Quiet Place II” actress will topline and exec produce a television adaptation of “True Biz,” Sara Nović’s upcoming coming-of-age novel about a Deaf teenage girl. Deadline broke the news.
Slated for publication in March 2022, “True Biz” centers on Charlie (Simmonds), a “Deaf teenage girl struggling to access spoken language, and the hearing CODA (child of deaf adults) headmistress of a boarding school for deaf students, both of whom live in a blue-collar town in the present-day Midwest. Through Charlie, the story navigates the alternatingly thrilling, frustrating, terrifying, and captivating journey of finding one’s people and one’s place in the world amidst massive social and political upheaval, while also following a tireless school administrator who comes to her own breaking point as she confronts the tragic realities of her increasingly fraught personal and professional lives,” the source details.
Circle of Confusion Television Studios is producing. “The studio and producers intend for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals to fill many creative and leadership roles across the writing and production of the series,” Deadline details.
A Deaf rights activist, Nović is the author of “Girl At War.” Simmonds, who is Deaf, counts “Wonderstruck” among her other credits.
“As soon as I read ‘True Biz,’ I knew I had to jump at the chance to collaborate with a Deaf creator on a project with an authentic and fresh perspective of the Deaf community and am equally excited to portray a deaf teenage protagonist never before seen on screen,” said Simmonds. “This project will be a truly unique opportunity to work with deaf professionals both in front and behind the camera throughout the project.”
Nović added, “I am thrilled to be working with such a talented team to bring ‘True Biz’ to life onscreen. The opportunity to share authentic Deaf stories with viewers has been a long-held dream.”
Set to hit Apple TV+ and select theaters August 13, Sian Heder’s “CODA” tells the story of a 17-year-old aspiring singer who is the only hearing member of a Deaf family. It made history as the first film to win all three top U.S. Dramatic honors at Sundance Film Festival and scored a record-breaking distribution deal at the fest when it premiered in January.