Gage Skidmore

Film / TV

danai gurira inks first-look deal with abc studios

February 24, 2020
1.2K Picks

Even though #OscarsStillSoWhite, it’s pretty incredible to witness this wave of Black creatives — like Jordan Peele and Marsai Martin – getting first-look deals with major studios with the intention of expanding the types of stories they are telling. The latest creative storyteller to snag such a deal is Black Panther actress Danai Gurira, perhaps best known for role as Michonne on The Walking Dead and who just need an overall two year deal with ABC Studios.

Under the deal, Gurira will create, develop, write and produce new projects for multiple platforms, all under the Disney banner, but with purchase potential for any other studio.

“From Zimbabwe to Wakanda to Broadway, there is no one like Danai Gurira,” said ABC Studios president Jonnie Davis. “The scope of her talents and the breadth of her abilities are simply astonishing. We are over the moon that she has chosen to make ABC Studios her exclusive home.”

If you’re wondering what qualifies Gurira for such a deal, you may be surprised to learn that in 2016, Gurira wrote the play Eclipsed which earned her a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. She is also the showrunner and executive producer for Amazon’s Americanah limited series adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel. The series stars the lovely Lupita Nyong’o.

“I am thrilled to work with Jonnie and his stellar team at ABC Studios,” Gurira said in a statement. “Their commitment to the feminine perspective aligns with my goals as a storyteller. I am excited to amplify unheard voices and bring to light narratives that will tackle universal themes while they simultaneously break barriers and bring new faces, voices and influences to the screen.”