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Motherland – Witches fight for America in new TV show


Taylor Hickson, Kelcey Mawema

Freeform has announced that principal photography has begun on the Motherland (working title) pilot, a one-hour drama from executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick. The pilot, created by Eliot Laurence (“Claws”), has started in Vancouver, Canada.

Set in an alternate America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country, “Motherland” (working title) follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into early deployment at Fort Salem. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped with the more dominant women on the front lines fighting looming terrorist threats that are familiar to our world, but with supernatural tactics and weapons.

Taylor Hickson (“Deadpool”) portrays Raelle, a reluctant recruit with major authority issues, whose mother recently died in the line of duty. Kelcey Mawema (“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”) portrays Abigail, an unquestionably alpha, smart, driven and courageous witch who hails from the upper echelons of military witch society and is excited to be joining the ranks of the witches’ army. Jessica Sutton (“The Kissing Booth”) portrays Tally, a kind, strong-willed and curious witch who enlisted despite her mother’s passionate disapproval. Amalia Holm (“Alena”) rounds out the young witch recruits, playing Scylla, a playful yet dark and mischievous recruit who is not what she appears to be.

Also joining the ranks is Demetria McKinney (“Tyler Perry’s House of Payne”) who plays Anacostia, an articulate, tough, wryly humorous staff sergeant whose chief concern is keeping the young recruits alive through basic training.

“Motherland” (working title) is written and created by Eliot Laurence and produced by Freeform Studios and Gary Sanchez Productions. Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick serve as executive producers for Gary Sanchez Productions. The pilot is directed by Steven A. Adelson (“Riverdale”, “Siren”).

“We had been looking for a show about witches,” EVP of Programming and Development for Freeform Karey Burke said. “The “alt” landscape of the show suggested a world in the vein of Man in the High Castle or Handmaid’s Tale. While a military force is the center of the show, instead of guns and bullets, the characters use elements like weather patterns and sound to subdue evildoers. We really like the story possibilities that gives us.”

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One Comment

  1. This sounds intriguing and potentially great. I’ve been a consultant/advisor on a number of witchcraft-themed reality TV shows, as well as a script advisor on the second Blair Witch movie, and have been involved in the #BindTrump workings. Do contact me if you’re looking or any research or insider info on contemporary witchcraft, its history and its practitioners. @themediawitch on Twitter

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