NBA superstar LeBron James is having a particularly good week. He just led the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals against his former team, the Miami Heat. And on top of that, his entertainment company, The SpringHill Company, has signed a first-look deal with Universal Pictures which will last for at least the next four years.
James is soon suiting up for a new Space Jam movie over at Warner Bros., so my first thought upon hearing this news was to wonder if someone at WB dropped the ball (sorry for the basketball pun) on locking down a renewed agreement at that studio instead. James and SpringHill previously had a development deal with WB back in 2015, around the time James co-starred in Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck and surprised audiences with his on-screen charisma and charm. But now SpringHill has found a better offer across town, because The Hollywood Reporter says that James and his SpringHill Company co-founder Maverick Carter have signed a four-year first-look deal with Universal Pictures.
So far, they have three projects in development: Untitled LeBron James Project, which is based on a book called Shooting Stars by James and Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger about LeBron’s high school basketball team and other events in James’ life; New Kid, based on Jerry Craft‘s graphic novel, the first graphic novel ever to win the Newbery Medal; and Catch the Wave, based on an original pitch by Ali Kinney.
“LeBron, Maverick and the team at SpringHill are content creators with a purpose, and we’re excited to partner with filmmakers who challenge us to tell stories that move culture forward,” Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley said in a statement. “SpringHill’s projects are compelling, entertaining, inspiring and aim to start important conversations, which we need now more than ever. We’re already partnering with LeBron and Maverick on some exciting projects in active development, with more to come, and we look forward to leveraging our resources across the NBCU portfolio to amplify those titles and bring important voices like SpringHill to a global audience.”
“With Universal, we’re aligned in making sure socially conscious and purposeful elements are felt in all of our stories, whether it’s a drama, comedy, family or even a horror film,” Carter said, teasing the types of projects we could be seeing from SpringHill in the future. We’ll keep you posted when we hear more about what comes through the development pipeline.
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