ID has entered a partnership with discovery+ to take on a development deal with actress and producer Octavia Spencer and her production company, Orit Entertainment and October Films to develop and produce multiple projects for ID and discovery+, with Spencer set to executive produce. “As an avid fan of true crime, to now be partners with ID and October Films is a dream,” Spencer said. “Everyone at Orit Entertainment is committed to shedding light on the most fascinating cases and crime stories with a unique perspective."
Production on the deal’s first two projects is underway, with additional titles in development. The first title announced under the agreement is "Highway 20," produced by Spencer. Additional executive producers are Orit Entertainment’s Brian Clisham and Stephanie Kluft, October Films’ Gillian Pachter and Matt Robins, Advance Originals’ Marsha Oglesby, Circle of Confusion’s Susan Solomon and ID’s Lorna Thomas.
“Octavia is a creative force who brings a level of unparalleled curiosity and honesty to every story she tells. Upon learning that she and her amazing team at Orit share a deep passion for crime and investigative content, and had joined forces with our trusted partners at October, we knew this was a relationship we wanted to invest heavily in,” said Jason Sarlanis, President of Crime and Investigative Content, Linear and Streaming. “This unique collaboration brings together one of the best production entities in the business, a superstar talent who also happens to be a super-fan with Octavia and Orit, and the biggest brand dedicated to the true crime genre."
The three-part series, "Highway 20" begins with the case of a missing 13-year-old girl and spirals into a decades long true crime odyssey. Inspired by the award-winning work of journalist Noelle Crombie, videographer Dave Killen and photojournalist Beth Nakamura of The Oregonian, and directed by Arianna Lapenne, the series unpacks the dark secrets of a ghostly stretch of Oregon’s US Highway 20, where many women and girls went missing, were raped or murdered from the 1970s to the 1990s. As the discovery of numerous unsolved crimes sparks fear in the local community, attention focuses on the possibility that a serial killer has been roaming the highway for decades. Asking poignant questions of our society’s treatment of women – then and now – HIGHWAY 20 delivers a gripping, unfolding documentary event.
“We’re delighted to bring a blossoming creative partnership to such a fantastic platform,'" Matt Robins, Creative Director October Films, said. "Octavia and Orit’s passion for telling true crime stories in a fresh and illuminating way was abundantly clear from our very first conversation. The Warner Bros. Discovery group has encouraged and enabled us to think big as we build a blockbuster slate of premium documentary series. To begin that journey with the remarkable Highway 20 is a rare and meaningful opportunity.”
As an avid fan of true crime, to now be partners with ID and October Films is a dream. Everyone at Orit Entertainment is committed to shedding light on the most fascinating cases and crime stories with a unique perspective.” Jason Sarlanis President of Crime and Investigative Content, Linear and Streaming