Universal Pictures has signed a first-look production deal with Malcolm D. Lee, the writer-director-producer that has made nine films with the studio including his first, The Best Man, and most recently Girls Trip, which hits theaters Friday.
The pact with Lee and his Blackmaled Productions was unveiled by Universal production president Peter Cramer. Paradigm and Del, Shaw repped Lee and Blackmaled in the deal.
“Starting with The Best Man, Malcolm has an incredible track record telling resonant stories that make audiences laugh and cry, which he has done brilliantly once again with Girls Trip,” Cramer said in announcing the deal. “We are thrilled to formalize our long-standing relationship with Malcolm by welcoming his company to the lot, and we are excited about making many more films with him, starting with his next film, Night School.”
Said Lee: “I am extremely gratified to officially be a part of the Universal family. This is a place I’ve always considered my home. They have respected and been supportive of my vision as a filmmaker, and I hope to continue the great success that I’ve had at Universal as we continue this fruitful partnership.”
Lee has directed five pics for Universal and is working on his next two: He is in pre-production on Night School, starring Kevin Hart and produced by Hart and Will Packer, and the threequel The Best Man Wedding, which he will write and direct.
The R-rated comedy Girls Trip stars Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish who play lifelong friends who travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. There, sisterhoods are rekindled; wild sides are rediscovered; and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.