Amazon Original Live-Action American Girl Special "Melody" Casts Marsai Martin in Lead Role; Common to Executive Produce and Frances Fisher, Frankie Faison and Idara Victor to Star
Marsai Martin (Black-ish) has been cast in Amazon's original upcoming American Girl live-action special Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win, an American Girl Story as Melody, which will premiere on Amazon Prime Video this fall. Executive produced by Common (Selma), Melody will also star Frances Fisher (Titanic) as Miss Abbot, Frankie Faison (The Wire) as Melody's grandfather Frank Ellison, and Idara Victor (Rizzoli & Isles) as Melody's mother Frances Ellison.
Based in 1963 Detroit during the civil rights movement, Melody centers around a 10-year-old girl Melody (Martin) whose eyes are opened to the racial inequality surrounding her, including the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing. As a result, her belief in the "indivisible" promise of our country's Pledge of Allegiance comes into question as she challenges her teacher on the validity of this given the horrific tragedy. After an emotional journey of self-reflection, her mother gives her the courage she needs by reminding her that it's important to "stand up for what's right, even when it's hard or scary."
This project is written and executive produced by Alison McDonald (Roots), directed and produced by Tina Mabry (Mississippi Damned, Queen Sugar), executive produced by Common's Freedom Road Productions. Christopher Keenan and Melinda McCrocklin are executive producers for American Girl. The Melody special is an Amazon adaptation on American Girl's original created stories written by Denise Lewis Patrick.
Amazon and American Girl have also partnered to feature unique Melody product collections in the American Girl brand store at Amazon: www.amazon.com/americangirl.
Born in Plano, Texas, Marsai Martin currently plays the sassy youngest daughter "Diane" on ABC's Emmy nominated comedy Black-ish, alongside Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne. Her work on the award-winning show has earned her a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and a Young Artists Award for Best Performance in a TV Series. Marsai most recently performed in the 35th Anniversary Celebration of the Tony Award winning Musical Dreamgirls with the original stars (Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine and Jennifer Holliday), singing the hit song "Move." Marsai also recently worked on the films How To Die Happy with Meagan Good, and Fun Mom Dinner, with Toni Collette and Adam Levine.
Amazon's American Girl Melody special will be available for Prime members using the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices including Fire TV and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/originals. For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices visit http://www.amazon.com/howtostream.