While most teenagers are stressing about their first crush, or how they will spend their weekends, Marsai Martin is getting ready to develop films for Universal Pictures. The Black-ish star, 14, inked a first-look deal for the studio with her Genius Productions company, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The 14-year-old is the youngest person to get a first-look deal at Universal, as well as the youngest person to get a deal at any studio. She is set to star in her first studio film, Little, alongside Issa Rae and Regina Hall on April 12. Martin is the youngest person to executive produce a studio film. After Little, the actress’ first film developed by Genius Productions will be StepMonster.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie will be about a teenage girl (Martin) who is adapting to life with a new stepmother. Martin told the magazine that she is very eager to get started on her developments and credits Universal producer Donna Langley and Peter Cramer, president of production.
“I am so excited for the magic I’ll be able to create and produce with Universal,” Martin said. “Mr. Cramer and Ms. [Donna] 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 began acting at 5-years-old and worked in short films and TV movies including An American Girl Story-Melody 1963 in 2016. Her breakout role was in Black-ish as Rainbow (played by Tracee Ellis Ross) and Andre’s (played by Anthony Anderson) youngest daughter, Diane. Martin’s character instantly became a fan favorite, even being the subject of multiple social media memes. Martin posted about her excitement for her new, creative venture at Universal.
Cramer told the Hollywood Reporter that Martin’s talent was one of the primary factors in his deciding to work with her on upcoming projects.
“Working with emerging talent is a cornerstone of Universal’s overall slate strategy, and Marsai is a star on the rise,” Cramer said. “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.
While she will be spending more time behind the scenes, Martin can be seen on Black-ish on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET. The ABC show is currently in its fifth season.