Witch-themed Motherland: Fort Salem gets series order on Freeform


New witch-themed series Motherland: Fort Salem gets series order on Freeform, Gary Sanchez Productions producing.

Motherland: Fort Salem, created by Eliot Laurence (Claws) and executive produced by Adam McKay (Anchorman), Will Ferrell (Anchorman), and Kevin Messick (Anchorman 2), has landed a 10-episode series order on Freeform. It is one of several pilots being considered for series on Freeform, including a Mexican-American immigration-themed reboot of Party of Five that was also just picked up.

The series is an alternate history story in which the persecution of witches came to an end when they made a deal with the U.S. government to use their powers to defend the country. Now 300 years later, the series follows three young recruits from basic training to first deployment as it examines a world in which gender roles and power dynamics are switched from the norm.

Women are the ones on the front lines, which also means they are the ones with the power advantage over men. It sounds a little like the plot of Naomi Alderman’s “The Power,” in which the power dynamics between men and women shift drastically after women randomly begin developing the ability to produce and manipulate electrical currents in their bodies.

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Two of the young leads are being played by Amalia Holm (The Eternal Road) and Demetria McKinney (House of Payne), while the third – originally played by Kelcey Mawema (To All the Boys I’ve Loved) – is currently being recast. Deadly Class‘ Taylor Hickson and The Kissing Booth‘s Jessica Sutton also costar. Creator Eliot Laurence is known for creating the TNT series Claws about the lives and crimes of five women working at a nail salon as well for writing the quirky Kristen Wiig led drama Welcome to Me. While there was some comment on this tale of female empowerment being written, directed, and produced almost completely by men, Laurence clearly has an interest in female stories and characters.

The President of Freeform, Tom Ascheim released a statement to Deadline regarding his excitement for the series.

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"“We’re so excited to be able to tell this story rich with female empowerment, complex storytelling and an incredibly creative canon. While set in an alternative universe, Motherland: Fort Salem will continue the authentic and issues-driven storylines that our network is known for, and what our audience has come to expect.”"

The premise does sound incredibly cool and I think it has great potential to communicate the female experience by reframing it from the reverse perspective.

Source: Deadline