Showtime commissions ‘Coercion’ drama pilot from Susannah Grant
Showtime commissioned a drama pilot based on the life of Rebecca Bender, national leader and survivor of sex trafficking, Variety has learned.
The pilot is called “Coercion”. It comes from Susannah Grant, with Sydney Chandler attached to the star. The series picks up with Bender’s escape from the world of sex trafficking after six years, her struggles to return to a “normal” life, and her emergence as a confident, funny and passionate lawyer for justice.
Bender is now one of the nation’s foremost sex trafficking experts and serves as a consultant for federal law enforcement.
“’Coercion’ is based on Rebecca Bender’s personal story of entrapment in the world of sex trafficking, her escape and her astonishing emergence as a relentless force against this world,” said Amy Israel, executive vice president of the scripted programming for Showtime. “We are delighted to be working with Susannah, whose work as a writer and director is always observed and touching. And Sydney Chandler promises to captivate audiences as she takes on this empowering role. “
Grant writes and directs the pilot in addition to being an executive producer. Bender will also be executive producer with Gail Lyon and Rosanna Arquette, who has long advocated for survivors of sex trafficking. Wiip’s Paul Lee and Hope Hartman are also executive producers.
The project brings together Grant and Lyon, who previously collaborated on the hit movie “Erin Brockovich”. Grant wrote the film and received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Lyon was the co-producer of the film. Lyon and Chandler, meanwhile, recently worked together on Danny Boyle’s Sex Pistols series at FX, on which Lyon is executive producer and in which Chandler will play Chrissie Hynde.
Chandler will next be seen in Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling” alongside Florence Pugh, Harry Styles and Chris Pine. This will mark his first feature film.
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In addition to her work on “Erin Brockovich”, Grant is known for her work on films like “28 Days”, “In Her Shoes” and “Catch and Release”, which she has also directed. On the TV side, she was screenwriter, director and showrunner of the Netflix series “Incredible”, which earned her two Emmy nominations. She is currently working on the show “Lessons in Chemistry” with Brie Larson at Apple and “Fleishman Is in Trouble” at FX on Hulu.
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