Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has lined up his next TV project.
Abdul-Mateen (Watchmen, The Trial of the Chicago 7) will star in and executive produce The Scent of Burnt Flowers, a limited series in the works at Macro Television Studios (Raising Dion, Gentefied). The project, which doesn’t have an outlet attached yet, is based on the forthcoming debut novel from writer and producer Blitz Bazawule (Beyoncé’s Black Is King, OWN’s Cherish the Day). The novel is set to be published in early 2022 by Ballantine Books/Penguin Random House.
The potential series is set in the 1960s, when the civil rights movement in the United States and the independence movement were at their zenith. It centers on a young Black couple who are on the run and a charismatic Ghanaian musician (Abdul-Mateen) whom they lean on to preserve their freedom. The story will also weave in magical realist elements, juxtaposing mermaids, military coups and love triangles in a geopolitical thriller.
In addition to his Emmy for HBO’s Watchmen, Abdul-Mateen won a SAG Award as part of the ensemble for The Trial of the Chicago 7. His credits also include Us, Aquaman and its sequel, and the forthcoming Candyman, The Matrix 4 and Furiosa.
Bazawule will write and direct The Scent of Burnt Flowers. He also executive produces via his newly formed Inward Gaze banner. Charles D. King, Macro’s Marta Fernandez and Ahmadou Seck Abdul-Mateen and M88’s Gabriel Mena and Natalia Williams also exec produce.
Bazawule is repped by CAA, M88 and Granderson Des Rochers. Abdul-Mateen is repped by WME, M88 and Ziffren Brittenham.