Boat Rocker has acquired a minority equity stake in TeaTime Pictures, founded by Dakota Johnson and former Netflix executive Ro Donnelly, which has had a first-look deal with the Canadian TV studio since 2019. Under the agreement, Boat Rocker will extend its current first-look deal with TeaTime to develop and produce scripted and unscripted television and digital content.
Katie O’Connell Marsh is stepping down as Vice-Chair of Boat Rocker effective January 2022 and will be joining TeaTime as a partner. Additionally, O’Connell Marsh has signed an overall deal with Boat Rocker to focus on adding scripted projects to the studio’s roster.
“Dakota and Ro are building TeaTime into a cultural platform with massive creative and commercial promise. The addition of Katie’s experience and acumen to this growing enterprise will undoubtedly supercharge TeaTime’s existing robust slate and ambitions,” said David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, Co-Executive Chairmen, Boat Rocker Media and Co-Chairmen, Boat Rocker Studios, adding that the company is “actively exploring making similar deals with leading creators.”
Under the first-look deal with Boat Rocker, the studio optioned the memoir Cult Following by writer Bexy Cameron, with Johnson attached to star and TeaTime set to executive produce. Following the equity investment, TeaTime will continue operating as an independent business, with Boat Rocker providing capital, as well as business and strategic support.
“Boat Rocker’s belief and investment in us and our future is humbling and inspiring,” Johnson and Donnelly said. “As a company that was founded purely on ambition, big dreams, and our shared love of film and television, Ro and I could not be more excited to partner with Katie O’Connell Marsh, whose wisdom and expertise are vital to our growing brand.”
Under her new overall deal with Boat Rocker, O’Connell Marsh will continue to be an executive producer on the studio’s current slate of scripted projects while also developing new projects.
“Joining Dakota and Ro to continue to build on their incredible vision for TeaTime is a dream come true,” O’Connell Marsh said. “I’m grateful to Dave and Ivan and everyone at Boat Rocker for believing and investing in us as we take TeaTime to the next level.”
O’Connell Marsh, who was Chairman and CEO of Platform One Media, was named Vice-Chair of Boat Rocker Studios following Boat Rocker’s acquisition and rebranding of Platform One.
TeaTime’s feature films, Cha Cha Real Smooth and Am I OK? have been selected to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Additionally, TeaTime is producing Daddio, with Dakota Johnson and Sean Penn attached to star, and Christy Hall on board to write and direct.
Boat Rocker’s slate of scripted, unscripted, and kids & family productions include American Rust for Showtime, Invasion, Dear… and Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, all for Apple TV+, Go-Big Show for TBS, and Dino Ranch for Disney+. The company has first-look deals with Lena Headey’s Peephole Productions, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s Maroon Visions, Stephanie Langhoff’s High Tide Productions, and Shamier Anderson & Stephan James’ Bay Mills Studios.