Universal Pictures has entered into a four-year, first-look film deal with LeBron James' SpringHill Company. Universal and SpringHill already have projects in development, including an adaptation of the book Shooting Stars by James and Buzz Bissinger. SpringHill was co-founded by James and Maverick Carter and in a statement, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley called the banner's projects compelling, entertaining, and inspiring."
"LeBron, Maverick and the team at SpringHill are content creators with a purpose, and we're excited to partner with filmmakers who challenge us to tell stories that move culture forward," Langley said (via Variety). "SpringHill's projects are compelling, entertaining, inspiring and aim to start important conversations, which we need now more than ever. We’re already partnering with LeBron and Maverick on some exciting projects in active development, with more to come, and we look forward to leveraging our resources across the NBCU portfolio to amplify those titles and bring important voices like SpringHill to a global audience."
Carter also added that Universal has been a collaborative thought partner and that SpringHill is proud to be partnering with them.
"The SpringHill Company's purpose is to empower greatness in every individual," Carter said. "With Universal, we're aligned in making sure socially conscious and purposeful elements are felt in all of our stories, whether it's a drama, comedy, family or even a horror film. In the same spirit, this partnership allows us to empower creators to tell the stories important to them and culture on the studio projects in the film space. Universal has been an incredibly collaborative thought partner from vision to execution and it's clear they value championing and telling diverse stories. We're proud to be partnering with a studio that makes telling diverse stories a mandate and not an option."
SpringHill and Universal currently have three projects already in development. The Shooting Stars adaptation is set to be directed by Chris Robinson with Terence and Rachel Winter producing. Also in development is Catch the Wave, a story based on an original pitch from Ali Kinney set to be shepherded by SpringHill's chief content officer Jamal Henderson and film head Spencer Beighley, and an adaptation of New Kid, a graphic novel by author Jerry Craft which was the first to win the Newbery medal.
"We're making movies that are genre agnostic and story first, but in a way that is commercially viable," Henderson said. "As the market changes, we're positioned well to work with the new voices that everyone is craving, but telling story poised for wide release and tailored for the streaming marketplace."
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