Marsai Martin Signs First-Look Deal with Universal Becoming the Youngest Person to Sign a Studio Deal in Recent Memory

Black-ish star Marsai Martin is forging her own lane in entertainment.

The young actress will soon become the youngest executive producer in Hollywood when her feature, Little, starring her alongside Issa Rae and Regina Hall, premieres in April. And now she and her Genius Productions company have signed a first-look production deal with Universal.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Martin will develop scripted projects for Universal alongside Joshua Martin (co-founder), Carol Martin (vice president) and Prince Baggett (head of creative). And the deal makes Martin, who is 14 years old, the youngest person to get a first-look deal at Universal, and the youngest person to get a deal at any studio in recent memory.

“Working with emerging talent is a cornerstone of Universal’s overall slate strategy, and Marsai is a star on the rise,” said Peter Cramer, president, Universal Pictures. “She is not only tremendously talented in front of the camera but offers a unique perspective as a creator and producer that will resonate with all audiences. We look forward to moviegoers getting to see how brilliant she is in Little and watching her evolve as a filmmaker here at Universal.”

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the first film being developed under the new deal is Step Monster. It’s a comedy about a teenage girl (Martin) who is adjusting to life with a new stepmother and has to learn that sometimes the only way to tame a monster is to make peace with it (especially if the monster is you).

“I am so excited for the magic I’ll be able to create and produce with Universal,” Martin said. “Mr. Cramer and Ms. [Donna] Langley’s commitment to investing in and uplifting diverse and young voices is both refreshing and important, and I’m happy to be a part of that legacy. My goal is to show young women and girls that our voices and ideas matter and you are never too young to dream BIG!”

Congratulations Marsai! Proud is an understatement!

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Bryant Lydell

Bryant Lydell is creative, personable and quick-witted Howard and USC alum. He's the founder of The Top Tea, a songwriter, screenwriter and member of the casting team for Netflix's NAACP Image Award-winning hip-hop competition series Rhythm + Flow.

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