Black-ish actor Marsai Martin and her production company (Genius Productions) have signed a first-look production deal with Universal. Marsai Martin will develop scripted projects for Universal alongside Joshua and Carol Martin (her parents) and Prince Baggett, the head of creative. Martin is only 14 years old, which makes her the youngest person to get a first-look deal at Universal, and maybe the youngest person to get a deal at any studio recently. Martin has been on Black-ish for the last five years, which definitely puts her into the child actor category. But by all accounts, she is doing much better than a lot of child actors that we’ve seen, isn’t she? In fact, Peter Cramer definitely sees something in her:
“Working with emerging talent is a cornerstone of Universal’s overall slate strategy, and Marsai is a star on the rise. 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. We look forward to moviegoers getting to see how brilliant she is in Little and watching her evolve as a filmmaker here at Universal.”Peter Cramer, President, Universal Pictures
The first film to be developed by Genius Productions is StepMonster, which is a comedy written by Dayna North and is about a teenage girl (played by Martin) adjusting to life with a new stepmother. Martin’s character has to learn that sometimes the only way to tame a monster is to make peace with it. I mean, that in itself is quite the life lesson. One that takes adults years to learn, which is why it’s encouraging to see a young
She might be young, but she’s had a pretty impressive career so far. As I mentioned, she’s had a reoccurring role as Diane Johnson on Black-ish since 2014. She also became the youngest person to ever executive produce a studio film when she signed on to Universal’s production Little. Little stars Regina Hall, Issa Rae as well as Martin herself. It centers on a woman who gets the chance to relive the carefree life as her younger self (played by Martin) when the pressures of adulthood become too much. (Side note, this young, talented actor is playing in two movies that literally explain my life right now.)
“I am so excited for the magic I’ll be able to create and produce with Universal. 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!”Marsai Martin
Martin has not only been a busy actor over the last few years, but she also has an incredibly bright future ahead of her. This deal is one of many that Universal has signed which includes diverse creators, including Will Packer, Malcolm D. Lee, Jordan Peele, and Kevin Hart. These are incredible accomplishments for someone so young, and I can’t wait to see what she gets involved with next.