Meghan Markle is teaming up with Elton John’s husband David Furnish to produce a new animated series about a ’12-year-old heroine who finds inspiration in influential women from history’, which will be released as part of the Sussexes’ lucrative deal with streaming site Netflix.
The new project, which was announced on Wednesday, will see Meghan, 39, taking on the role of ‘creator and executive producer’ – marking the first time that the former actress will work in the position of EP.
Filmmaker David, 58, will also serve as an executive producer on the series, Pearl, which will ‘weave together fantasy and history’ while focusing ‘on the adventures of a 12-year-old girl’ as she attempts to ‘overcome life’s daily challenges’.
‘Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges,’ the Duchess of Sussex said in a statement.
Meghan Markle is set to serve as executive producer on a new animated series for Netflix, which will tell the story of a ’12-year-old girl who finds inspiration in influential women’
The 39-year-old has teamed up with Elton John’s husband David Furnish, 58, on the production of the series, which is called Pearl
‘I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix, and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history.’
Meghan did not name any of the women who will be spotlighted in the series – however she did add that both she and David are ‘eager to bring this special series to light’, concluding: ‘I am delighted we are able to announce it today.’
Speaking about his involvement in Pearl, David hinted that he and Meghan have been working on the series for some time now, saying in a statement: ‘I am delighted that we are finally able to announce this exciting animated series.
‘Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex and I are deeply passionate about bringing the inspirational and positive stories of extraordinary women from around the world to a global audience of all ages. The team collaborating on the series are first class, and Netflix are the perfect partner.’
As well as landing Meghan her first executive producer credit, the animated series also marks the first time that she and David will work together in a professional capacity.
David’s husband, famed musician Elton, 74, was good friends with Harry’s late mother Princess Diana and maintained a close relationship with the Duke after her death in 1997.
In 2019, Elton paid for Harry and Meghan to fly via private jet to his multi-million-dollar mansion in the South of France – and he vehemently defended the couple against furious backlash over their decision to travel in a private plane, despite actively advocating for environmental issues.
Elton and David were also among the many celebrity guests invited to attend Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May 2018.
The announcement comes just three months after Meghan and Harry revealed their first Netflix project – a documentary series about the Invictus Games
This is not the first time that Meghan and Harry have called on their famous friends to help them with one of their professional projects; Elton made a guest appearance in the first episode for the couple’s Spotify podcast, which was released at the end of 2020, in which he discussed the toll of the pandemic and his ‘hope for healing’ in the future.
The 35-minute episode – which was released as a holiday special – is the only content that Harry and Meghan have created as part of their deal with Spotify, which is said to be worth close to $40 million.
However the announcement of Meghan’s new animated show does make it seem as though the couple is starting to move the needle as far as their contract with Netflix is concerned.
Pearl will serve as the second project to be announced as part of Harry and Meghan’s very lucrative deal with Netflix – which is estimated to be worth a staggering $100 million – and comes just three months after their company, Archewell Productions announced a documentary series about the Invictus Games.
The program, Heart of Invictus, will follow competitors around the world training for the Games at The Hague which had been expected to take place in 2020 but were delayed until next year due to the pandemic.
It is unclear whether Harry and Meghan are actively working on any of these projects currently – after it was reported that the couple were planning to take up to five months of paternity leave following the birth of their second child, daughter Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana on June 4.
Meghan has not yet revealed any other details about her new series – and she has not shared whether it will draw any inspiration from her own life, something that she has done with a number of her past projects.
Her debut children’s book, The Bench, which was firmly panned by readers on both sides of the Atlantic, was inspired by a poem that she wrote for Prince Harry on Father’s Day, and featured several illustrations that appear to depict herself, her husband, and their first-born child Archie.