Young Money: 14-Year-Old Marsai Martin Inks First-Look Deal with Universal

Marsai Martin attends Black-ish 100th Episode Celebration on November 10, 2018 in Burbank, California.
Marsai Martin attends Black-ish 100th Episode Celebration on November 10, 2018 in Burbank, California.
Image: Earl Gibson III (Getty Images)

Black History Month may be off to a bizarrely shitty start (Virginia blackface, fashionista blackface, and “black bastards”, oh my!), but Marsai Martin is swooping in to save the day with her young winning ways.


The 14-year-old actress and executive producer has just inked an overall deal with Universal Pictures, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Of course, Marsai already has a fruitful relationship with Universal with her upcoming comedy, Little, co-starring Regina Hall and Issa Rae.

“Working with emerging talent is a cornerstone of Universal’s overall slate strategy, and Marsai is a star on the rise,” noted Universal Pictures’ president, Peter Cramer. “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.”

Her first film under the new deal will be StepMonster, a comedy following a teenage girl warring with the reality of having a stepmother.

Marsai may be young, but she been ready! She’s been working in this industry since the age of 5, scoring her first major role in 2014 in Black-ish, where she portrays the acerbically witty Diane Johnson.

“I am so excited for the magic I’ll be able to create and produce with Universal,” Marsai 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!”


The children really are our future. Secure that bag (and more), young sis.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.



Marsai is the BOMB!  I love her and cannot wait to see her BLOW UP! (And the trailer for “Little” is hilarious!)