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LeBron James’ entertainment brand signs first-look film deal with Universal Pictures

The SpringHill Company, the entertainment entity founded by NBA superstar LeBron James and Maverick Carter, has signed a four-year first-look deal with Universal Pictures.

“LeBron, Maverick and the team at SpringHill are content creators with a purpose, and we’re excited to partner with filmmakers who challenge us to tell stories that move culture forward,” said Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. “SpringHill’s projects are compelling, entertaining, inspiring and aim to start important conversations, which we need now more than ever.”

The SpringHill Company, the production entity co-founded by Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, is locked into a four-year pact with Universal. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SpringHill has several projects in development with Universal, and the company has pledged to leverage its resources “across the NBCU portfolio to amplify those titles and bring important voices like SpringHill to a global audience.”

SpringHill and Universal are teaming up for the film, Catch the Wave, the story of a young Black woman whose relationship with a Black surfer opens up her world to a Black beach enclave in California during the 1920s.

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But the first of their offerings is Shooting Stars, the adaptation of a book by the same name written by James and Buzz Bissinger about the James’ experience playing youth basketball.

After that is New Kid, an adaptation of a graphic novel by Jerry Craft.

SpringHill’s Chief Content Officer Jamal Henderson says that the company is “making movies that are genre-agnostic and story first, but in a way that is commercially viable.”

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“As the market changes,” he says, “we’re positioned well to work with the new voices that everyone is craving, but telling stories poised for wide release and tailored for the streaming marketplace.”

SpringHill is made up of a trio of companies built by James and Carter: Uninterrupted, the athlete empowerment media and consumer product company; SpringHill Entertainment, the premium scripted and unscripted film and television production firm, and finally, The Robot Company, its brand and culture consultancy arm.

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The company has already produced several films, including Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker for Netflix and the upcoming Warner Bros feature, Space Jam: A New Legacy.

NBC Universal has first-look deals with other notable minority stars, including Jordan Peele, Kevin Hart, Will Packer, Janelle Monae, producer Justin Lin, Malcolm D. Lee, Marsai Martin and Eva Longoria.

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