Reese Witherspoon’s media empire, Hello Sunshine, has teamed up with Audible to work on an audiobook project. The collaboration will initially see the launch of a showcase of Audible audiobooks as selected by Reese’s Book Club, which focus on strong but complex female characters. However, the two companies said that further down the line Hello Sunshine Witherspoon and Amazon-owned Audible will work together on original audio productions, details of which will be announced later in the year.
You may already have heard of the Hello Sunshine brand in passing.
Witherspoon’s company is producing a range of content including feature films, TV shows, social series, and more, including the upcoming Hulu original series starring Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, “Little Fires Everywhere,” based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller. It’s also producing a number of series for Apple’s forthcoming streaming service, including a comedy series with Kristen Wiig, a true crime thriller with Octavia Spencer, and a two-season drama series with Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. Amazon, meanwhile, has yet to tap into the Hello Sunshine brand until now, by way of its Audible subsidiary.
“When I started Reese’s Book Club, I wanted to highlight the voices of female storytellers and I am so excited to work with Audible to literally deliver on our mission!” read a statement by Witherspoon about the new project. “It can be hard to find time to read a highly recommended book, and love that with this partnership we are providing a way to experience these beautiful stories in audio form.”
The deal makes sense in terms of growing Hello Sunshine and anointing books as “must-reads” that are later turned into video projects, as is often the case today.
For example, the Apple/Kristen Wiig drama is based on Curtis Sittenfeld’s short story collection, “You Think It, I’ll Say It;” a film for Fox 2000 by Hello Sunshine is based on Catherine Steadman’s novel “Something in the Water;” and Hello Sunshine’s psychological thriller for TriStar Pictures “A White Lie” is based on Karin Tanabe’s novel “The Gilded Years.”
And for Amazon, a collaboration between its audiobook business, Audible, and Hello Sunshine, could give it insight (and potentially leverage) in the negotiations for upcoming Hello Sunshine video projects.
The new audiobook collection will kick off in June, the companies said.