Amid the success of her Showtime drama series The Chi, writer/producer Lena Waithe, 36, is now gearing up to release a new project with Amazon Studios.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Waithe recently finished writing the first draft of a pilot — which is now being developed for series. It currently runs under the working title, Open.
“I’ve never been in an open marriage, but it’s fascinating to me,” Waithe told THR. “We live in a world where, if I told you I cheated on my wife, you would be like, “Yeah, that’s the way it goes.” But if I told you that I’m in an open marriage, it would be as if I told you I’m joining the Church of Scientology.”
The 36-year-old Chicago native signed a deal with the film distributor last year (2019). The agreement allows Waithe to work alongside the company to create and executively produce new original series to debut exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. If the development of the series gets pushed to production, it will be the latest in a list of projects she is working on under her deal.
That list also includes a horror anthology series titled, Them, which “follows a Black couple and their move to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood—where the picturesque street masks malevolent forces both real and supernatural.”
Outside of her work with the streaming platform, Waithe is credited for Bet’s Boomerang and Twenties, Showtime’s The Chi, and a musical drama called Talent Show, which will be released through Universal Pictures.
While Open looks to enter the world of misunderstood relationships, it certainly has the potential to “normalize romance that exists outside of monogamous relationships.”
“Society has such a conservative way of looking at marriage,” Waithe said of Open. “I do think that we, as a nation, need to reevaluate what marriage looks like for us as a country — because whatever we have right now, it ain’t working.”
“My mission is to provide a space for people to grow, while making work that people can look at and say, ‘That broke a barrier.'”
If the series gets greenlighted, it would be Waithe’s first news series since Twenties with her credited as a writer.