Expanding his media empire, Shawn Carter, a.k.a. Jay Z, has inked a two-year production deal with The Weinstein Company (TWC) that will give TWC an exclusive first-look at any film or television projects produced by Carter.
The release adds that there are already projects in development under this new deal, which will be announced in the next few weeks.
Jay Z has certainly been involved in the film business before today’s deal with TWC announcement, including serving as producer of the recent remake of “Annie,” as well as on Chris Rock’s “Top Five,” and executive producing Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby.” He also teamed up with Will Smith to produce a miniseries on Emmett Till for HBO, which Steven Caple Jr. is scripting.
And earlier this year, it was announced that his subscription-based music streaming service, Tidal, plans to get into the movie streaming business as well, potentially taking on behemoth services like Netflix and Amazon as competition, working with movie-industry executives to create original films that focus on the artists signed with the service, in addition to acquiring existing movies.
Regarding today’s announcement of an exclusive first-look deal with The Weinstein Company (TWC), Jay Z said: “I’m excited to tell stories from real life prophets, whom through their struggles have changed the world for the better, and others whose stories are filled with fantasy and delight. Harvey and David are visionaries both of whom have done this time and time again. I’m already passionate about what we currently have in the pipeline and I’m looking forward to discovering others.”
Harvey Weinstein, TWC co-chair, added: “Jay’s ability to influence entertainment and pop culture has gone well beyond music for many years. He approaches every aspect of his career with both determination and effortlessness, making him one of the leading power players in entertainment history. We already have some exceptional projects in the works and are excited to see what more is to come.”
TWC president and COO David Glasser commented: “Jay Z is an entertainment mogul with an unparallelled sense of the industry and limitless creativity. It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to collaborate with him as we continue to grow our TV division and look towards many more opportunities to create fresh content. The deal was negotiated by David Glasser, and Sarah Sobel, Executive Vice President Of Business And Legal Affairs, on behalf of TWC.
By the way, this is the second first-look deal with a high profile black creative that TWC has inked so far this year; the company announced a similar deal with Antoine Fuqua in April.
Now we wait to find out what both deals produce in the future… but I’m certainly very curious.