Universal Signs First-Look Agreement With ‘Black-ish’ Star Marsai Martin

14-year-old actress will develop projects through her Genius Productions label

Last Updated: February 7, 2019 @ 12:04 PM

Universal Pictures announced on Thursday that it has entered a first-look agreement with “Black-ish” star Marsai Martin and her Genius Productions label.

The 14-year-old Martin will develop scripted projects for Universal alongside Genius Productions co-founder Joshua Martin, vice president Carol Martin, and head of creative Prince Baggett. The first project that will be developed through the deal is “StepMonster,” a comedy starring Martin as a teenage girl who is adjusting to life with a new stepmother and has to learn that sometimes the only way to tame a monster is to make peace with it… especially if the monster is you.

“Working with emerging talent is a cornerstone of Universal’s overall slate strategy and Marsai is a star on the rise,” said Universal president Peter Cramer.  “She is not only tremendously talented in front of the camera, but offers a unique perspective as a creator and producer that will resonate with all audiences.”

Martin, who first appeared on “Black-ish” when it debuted in 2014, will star alongside Regina Hall and Issa Rae in the Universal comedy “Little,” which she is also an executive producer on alongside Will Packer. The film will be released on April 12.

“I am so excited for the magic I’ll be able to create and produce with Universal,” Martin said. “Mr. Cramer and Ms. Langley’s commitment to investing in and uplifting diverse and young voices is both refreshing and important, and I’m happy to be a part of that legacy.  My goal is to show young women and girls that our voices and ideas matter and you are never too young to dream BIG!”

Martin said she is eager to work with Cramer and Donna Langley, Chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. “I am so excited for the magic I’ll be able to create and produce with Universal,” Martin said. “Mr. Cramer and Ms. Langley’s commitment to investing in and uplifting diverse and young voices is both refreshing and important, and I’m happy to be a part of that legacy.  My goal is to show young women and girls that our voices and ideas matter and you are never too young to dream BIG!”

Martin is represented by WME and Meyers & Downs, LLP.