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Universal Sets First-Look Production Pact With ‘Girls Trip’ Director

Malcolm D. Lee has produced five of his nine films for Universal, including ”The Best Man“

Universal Pictures has set a first-look production agreement with writer, director and producer Malcolm D. Lee and his Blackmaled Productions, Universal’s President of Production Peter Cramer announced Tuesday.

Lee’s next movie, “Girls Trip,” starring Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith, will hit theaters this weekend.

“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,'” said Cramer.  “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.'”

Lee has been making films since the age of 12, and has been working in the industry professionally since he was 17. He has directed five of his nine films to date with Universal, beginning with his directorial debut “The Best Man.” He went on to direct “Undercover Brother,” “Roll Bounce,” “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins” and “Soul Men.” In November of 2013, Lee scored his biggest box office hit with the sequel to his first film, “The Best Man Holiday,” which grossed $30.5 million in its opening weekend.

Lee is currently in pre-production to direct his sixth directorial outing with Universal, “Night School,” starring Kevin Hart and produced by Hart and Will Packer, as well as “The Best Man Wedding.”

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“I am extremely gratified to officially be a part of the Universal family,” said Lee.  “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 and his Blackmaled Productions were represented in the deal by Paradigm and Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lescano.

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