Film / TV

bag secured: ava duvernay signs $100 mill deal

November 28, 2018
243 Picks

Paid at last, paid at last, thank God almighty, Black artists are getting paid, at last. Ava DuVernay, the first Black woman to direct a $100 million film just signed a development deal with Warner Brothers Television to the tune of around $100 million according to Deadline. The Emmy winner and Oscar nominee signed on to a multi-year, multi-genre deal that will span from film and television to streaming and other long and short-form content.

“I’ve had nothing but beautiful experiences working with Peter Roth, Susan Rovner and Brett Paul,” DuVernay told Deadline. “They love and support artists in wonderful and nourishing ways. They work within a traditional studio headed by Kevin Tsujihara that is stirring with untraditional energy and fresh protocols for intentional, inclusive image-making. Warner Bros is a terrific partner about matters of visibility and belonging for all kinds and cultures of people, which is our mission at Forward Movement. I couldn’t be happier to call Warner Bros TV my production home.”

Deadline notes that DuVernay would be expected to join Netflix in this recent wave of film and tv studios locking in talent, considering the director made her Oscar-winning documentary 13th as well as four-part-drama Central Park Five with the streaming giant, but DuVernay already has an established relationship with Warner Brothers through the creation of Queen Sugar, which was just renewed for a fourth season with OWN.

DuVernay’s Forward Movement serves as the production side of Array, the independent film distribution and resource network founded by the filmmaker in 2010. Array’s mission is to amplify the works of people of color and women so an injection of that amount into structures created to account for creators on the fringe of the industry could put a dent in the representation issues Hollywood faces. Blackness may be trending right now but these are the kind of deals that ensure that our current Black Renaissance outlasts our current crop of Black excellence.