Ava DuVernay’s ascension to Hollywood black royalty status has been something of a Cinderella story, and with her most recent achievement, her tale just got that much richer—so to speak.
From her brief affair with a career in journalism that included covering the OJ Simpson trial for CBS News to her turn as a film publicist, she knew she wanted to work in film. She told her first story in 2006 with the short film Saturday Night Life, and since then she has carved out her own position with acclaimed projects such as Selma, Middle of Nowhere, A Wrinkle in Time, the documentary 13th and her television show Queen Sugar.
As if all of those accomplishments were not enough, multiple outlets are reporting that DuVernay just signed a massive multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Television rumored to be worth as much as $100 million.
The production and development deal gives DuVernay and her Forward Movement production house the freedom of creating drama and comedy series, documentaries, digital content, event projects and longform projects for distribution over broadcast, cable, premium cable, streaming services and other platforms.
This is DuVernay’s first contract with any studio, and the relationship is set to begin in January 2019.
DuVernay told Deadline Tuesday, “I’ve had nothing but beautiful experiences working with Peter Roth, Susan Rovner and Brett Paul. 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.”
Peter Roth, Warner Bros TV Group president and chief content officer, said in a release announcing the deal “Ava DuVernay is one of the leading lights in our industry, a brilliantly talented writer, producer, director and entrepreneur whose ability to inspire with her art is exceeded only by her ability to entertain. We have had the great pleasure of working with her on Queen Sugar and The Red Line, and we are extremely excited about the new stories she has to tell.”
DuVernay’s next upcoming project is the Central Park Five miniseries she helmed for Netflix.