Audible signed an exclusive, multiproject development deal with Plan B Entertainment, the production company led by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, for a slate of audio originals.
Under the worldwide deal — which represents Plan B’s entry into audio entertainment — the production company will create a slate of Audible originals. It’s the latest pact by Amazon-owned Audible with high-profile Hollywood talent to create exclusive audio productions.
Plan B’s inaugural project for Audible is “A Summer Love Thing” from cinematographer Bradford Young. Currently in active development, “A Summer Love Thing” follows a woman who leaves her successful singing career to return to her Southern hometown and pursue her first love, a blue-collar worker, for the second time. Plan B and Audible describe the project as “moody, lyrical and ethereal, as is all of Bradford’s work,” using “Southern soundscapes to evoke a place, space and time.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with the dynamic team at Audible, who are leaders in this space, and who share our commitment to quality storytelling wherever audiences find and engage with it,” Plan B’s Pitt, Gardner and Kleiner said in a joint statement.
Audible Studios head Zola Mashariki commented: “It is beyond exciting for us to work with Plan B as they move into the audio sphere. Brad, Dede and Jeremy are devoted to the craft of storytelling and production and we can’t wait to hear the magic they bring to audio.”
Kleiner, co-president of Plan B, is set to discuss the new development deal with Variety Executive Editor Brent Lang at the Variety Interview Studio, presented by Audible, at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, Jan. 22, in a fireside chat as part of “Variety x Audible Cocktails & Conversations.” Actor, director and producer Daniel Dae Kim, who recently inked a first-look deal with Audible, also is slated to attend the event.
Over the last few years, Audible has landed a series of development deals with notable creative partners as it looks to differentiate itself in the booming podcast realm. Those include President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground, George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani’s Hillman Grad Productions, Laura Dern and Jayme Lemons’ Jaywalker Pictures, Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit, Broadway Video, Kevin Hart’s HartBeat Productions, and SpringHill, founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.
Recent Audible Originals include best-selling audio series “The Sandman,” “The Sandman: Act II” and “The Sandman: Act III” from Neil Gaiman, performed by James McAvoy, Kat Dennings and a full cast; Jesse Eisenberg’s “When You Finish Saving the World”; LGBTQ comedy “Hot White Heist” produced in collaboration with Broadway Video, Adam Goldman and Alan Cumming and starring an all-queer cast led by Bowen Yang; “Moriarty” from Treefort Media; “Finding Tamika,” which explores the media’s disproportional coverage of missing Black women, and Leon Neyfakh’s “Fiasco: The AIDS Crisis,” which examines the history of the AIDS epidemic in America.
Plan B, formed by Pitt and then-wife Jennifer Aniston in 2001, in January closed a deal sell a majority stake to European media conglomerate Mediawan, valuing Plan B at more than $300 million.
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