The following press release has been issued:
“GENIUS” EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS TO DEVELOP AJ MENDEZ’S NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER “CRAZY IS MY SUPERPOWER”
LOS ANGELES, December 19, 2017—EUE/Sokolow, an Emmy-nominated production company behind Nat Geo’s “Genius” franchise, and producer Jeff Fisher are bringing AJ Mendez’s New York Times Best Seller “Crazy is my Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules” to television. The bestselling book chronicles former WWE wrestler AJ Mendez’s unlikely rise to stardom after growing up in poverty and enduring years of abuse. Mendez will serve as an Executive Producer and writer on the project.
“Crazy is my Superpower” intricately details Mendez’s harrowing struggle to understand her demons and the mental illness diagnosis that helped her gain control over her life, and how she harnessed that strength to become an internationally-beloved professional wrestling superstar (known as AJ Lee). The three-time WWE champion fought against stereotypes, forced the men in her industry to view her with respect and inspired millions of fans with her fierce independent streak.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to work with this team to turn “Crazy is My Super Power” into a scripted show,” said AJ Mendez. “This is a story about the power of female strength and our incomparable ability to survive, persist and overcome. I knew that I would need partners that connected to that message, and Jeff and Sam’s bold vision was a perfect fit. I can’t wait to get started.”
“Jeff Fisher initially talked to me about this book and told me what an amazing story this woman had,” said Sam Sokolow, co-founder of EUE/Sokolow and executive producer of National Geographic’s first-ever scripted series “Genius.” “We’re so excited to get to work with AJ and tell her incredibly inspiring story.
The book was originally released in hardcover, ebook and audiobook (narrated by Mendez) by Crown Publishing, April, 4, 2017 and will debut in paperback April, 3, 2018. Mendez is represented by literary agent Lisa Leshne at The Leshne Agency and attorney Alan Sacks at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.
Recently, EUE/Sokolow produced “Genius,” with the series first season following the life of Albert Einstein with Academy Award winners Geoffrey Rush starring as Einstein and Ron Howard directing the pilot episode. Season One of “Genius” was recognized with ten 2017 Emmy nominations including Best Limited Series. “Genius” has been renewed for a second season and will follow the life of artist Pablo Picasso.
Beverly Hills-based EUE/Sokolow focuses on premium television programs including dramas, limited series, comedies and documentaries.
EUE/Sokolow is repped by CAA. Jeff Fisher is repped by Gersh.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
About AJ Mendez
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AJ Mendez is the New York Times Bestselling author of Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules. She is a mental health advocate and animal rights activist. Currently she serves as an ambassador for NAMI, The JED Foundation, The ASPCA, and Girls Make Games. Formerly known as WWE professional wrestler “AJ Lee,” she has won three championships and numerous awards, as well as inspired a generation of young girls to wear sensible shoes. AJ has been made into several video game characters and action figures, all with substantially better looks and body measurements. In her spare time she enjoys comic books, video games, and collecting snow globes & mugs because, on the inside, she is somehow both 12 and 80 years old. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at @TheAJMendez, and online at TheAJMendez.com.
Founded in 2010 by producer/director Jeff Cooney and veteran television producer Sam Sokolow, EUE/Sokolow is an independent television studio that develops, finances, produces and arranges the distribution of premium television shows and content. EUE/Sokolow attracts high-end talent to develop television properties in a forward-thinking business model designed for today’s global television marketplace. Recently, EUE/Sokolow independently produced pilots/presentations of “Co-Op,” a television show created by and starring Zachary Levi and written and directed by Nancy Hower and John Lehr; “Diplomatic Immunity,” a comedy starring Australian comedy troupe The Peloton; “Shalom Y’all,” a comedy by showrunner Caryn Lucas based on the work of Julia Fowler which was recently set up at Warner Brothers; and “Win With Les,” starring Josh Lucas and created and written by Blair Singer. Since opening their doors, Cooney and Sokolow have set up shows at HBO, ABC, NBC, Freeform, Nat Geo, TNT, E!, Lifetime Movie Network and OWN. EUE/Sokolow is a subsidiary of EUE/Screen Gems, whose infrastructure includes studio complexes in Atlanta, Wilmington and Miami that have been home to productions such as “Stranger Things” (Netflix), “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” (Lionsgate), “Sleepy Hollow” (Fox), “Iron Man 3” (Marvel Studios), “Six” (A&E/History Channel), “The Conjuring” (New Line Cinema), “Under the Dome” (CBS) and “Eastbound and Down” (HBO).
About Jeff Fisher
Fisher began his career as a comedy writer, and is now a seasoned executive producer and director. For more than 15 years Fisher has been consistently involved in creating, developing, producing and/or directing high-end programming – from scripted comedy to reality – for networks, studios and high-profile production companies including NBCUniversal, TLC, Fox, POP, ABC, E!, Spike, VH1, MTV, Nickelodeon, TruTV, Lifetime Movie Network, OWN, The T Group, Endemol, Bunim/Murray, Mark Burnett Productions, Next Entertainment, The Tom Lynch Co., and EUE/Sokolow, where Fisher recently co-created the scripted comedy “Diplomatic Immunity,” starring Australian sketch comedy troupe The Peloton. Fisher also produced & directed the POP network comedy “Return of the Mac” pilot starring Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg & January Jones.
Proud to share, Emmy nominated producers EUE/Sokolow & Jeff Fisher will develop #CrazyIsMySuperpower for TV! Now, more than ever, it is vital that women tell their own stories. That’s why I’m proud to work on this project as a writer & executive producer: https://t.co/Ue3HJ52Yeh
— AJ (@TheAJMendez) December 19, 2017