Showtime has snagged a drama pilot from Susannah Grant that centers on a survivor of sex trafficking.
Grant (Erin Brockovich, Netflix’s Unbelievable) will write and direct Coercion, which is inspired by the life of Rebecca Bender, a sex trafficking survivor who now advocates for victims and consults with law enforcement. Sydney Chandler (FX’s upcoming Pistol) is set to play the lead role in the drama from producer Wiip.
“Coercion is based on Rebecca Bender’s personal story of entrapment in the world of sex trafficking, her escape and her stunning emergence as a relentless force against that world,” said Amy Israel, executive vp scripted programming at Showtime. “We’re excited to be working with Susannah, whose work as a writer and director is always sharply observed and moving. And Sydney Chandler promises to captivate audiences as she takes on this challenging role.”
The potential series would pick up the lead character’s life six years after her escape and follow her struggles to resume a “normal” life as well as her emergence as a confident, funny and impassioned advocate for justice.
Grant will executive produce Coercion along with Bender, Gail Lyon, Rosanna Arquette — a long-time advocate for trafficking victims — and Wiip’s Paul Lee and Hope Hartman. The project marks a reunion for Lyon with both Grant (Lyon was a co-producer of Erin Brockovich) and Chandler, who plays Chrissie Hynde in Pistol, which Lyon exec produces.
Grant also has FX on Hulu’s limited series Fleishman Is in Trouble in the works, while Chandler has Olivia Wilde’s feature Don’t Worry Darling on deck.