BREAKING: Makeready has won an auction to finance Queen & Slim, with Oscar-nominated Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya starring and Melina Matsoukas making her feature directing debut. Emmy-winning scribe Lena Waithe wrote the script based on an original idea and treatment by A Million Little Pieces author James Frey. The film will be distributed worldwide by Universal Pictures, with eOne handling theatrical distribution in some offshore territories including UK and Canada. The film has been set to be released in North America November 27, 2019, making this the first green lit picture for Brad Weston’s Makeready that falls under its Universal and eOne deal. Production begins in January.
The filmmakers are now looking for a fresh face to play Queen, and Stranger Things‘ Carmen Cuba has been tasked with casting that role. Pic is a complex film with many layers, exploring America’s social and political climate through the lens of a genre-defying love story. Pic is about a black man and black woman on a first date that goes awry after the two are pulled over by a police officer at a traffic stop. They kill the police officer in self-defense and go on the run, rather than turn themselves in.
Matsoukas is best known for HBO’s Insecure, and her directing credits include the Beyonce video Formation. Waithe, who was last seen in the cast of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, won the Emmy for her writing on Master of None. And Kaluuya is coming off Black Panther.
Waithe will produce through her Hillman Grad Productions banner along with De La Revolución Films’ Matsoukas and Frey through his 3BlackDot banner along with Andrew Coles and Michelle Knudsen.
Makeready is financing with 3BlackDot.
“To me this is protest art,” Waithe said in a statement. “It’s about being Black and trying to fall in love in a world that’s burning down around you.”
Said Matsoukas: “It’s a film that defines Black love as a revolutionary act. It shows that our union is the greatest weapon against the assault on Black people in America.”
Waithe is repped by WME, Coles at The Mission Entertainment, and Del, Shaw, Moonves; Matsoukas is CAA, Knudsen at MXN Entertainment and Bianca Levin at Gang, Tyre; Kaluuya is CAA, Troika, Management 360 and Ziffren Brittenham; Frey by Management 360, CAA and David Krintzman at Morris Yorn. The package deal was brokered by Endeavor Content and WME.