Suzanne de Passe Lands First Look Deal at Universal

De Passe Jones Entertainment is working with Steven Spielberg on a film about the life of Martin Luther King Jr., among other projects

Universal Pictures has signed a three-year, first-look production agreement with Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones’ de Passe Jones Entertainment, the studio announced on Monday. 

De Passe is the former president of Motown. In addition to her stint at the music and entertainment company, de Passe was an executive producer on "Lonesome Dove" and received an Oscar nomination for "Lady Sings the Blues." 

Jones was the founder and CEO of IPM, an entertainment, media and IP licensing firm that developed projects with Time Warner. His company spearheaded the licensing program for the estate of Martin Luther King Jr., helping it snag media and entertainment, book publishing and IP licensing deals. 

“Suzanne and Madison are trailblazing producers who have great respect in multiple divisions of the entertainment industry,” Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman Donna Langley said in a joint statement. “We are fortunate to work with such respected partners and look forward to their upcoming projects with the studio.”

de Passe and Jones merged their entertainment companies several years ago and are currently developing and producing film, television, music and new media projects. Perhaps the glossiest addition to their lineup is a film based on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which they are developing with Steven Spielberg at DreamWorks.

The company has just published its first graphic novel through its new imprint, Revenger Comics, distributed by IDW Publishing.