Judas and the Black Messiah writer-director-producer Shaka King is expanding his work in television, signing a first-look deal with FX Productions. Under the pact, King will develop new TV series for FX through his recently launched production company I’d Watch That, with the company’s co-founder Brandon Harris.
King is the director, co-writer and producer behind the Oscar-nominated feature Judas and the Black Messiah, starring Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya. The film, which marks his studio feature directorial debut, centers on Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and his fateful betrayal by FBI informant William O’Neal. The feature was nominated for six Academy Awards, including a Best Original Screenplay nom for King as well as Best Picture, marking the first time an all-Black producing team has been recognized in the category.
“We at FX have long been fans of Shaka King’s work and are honored to partner with him and his production company to create groundbreaking new television series,” said Nick Grad, President, Original Programming, FX. “Shaka’s stunning feature Judas and the Black Messiah rightfully garnered enormous attention and praise, the culmination of years devoted to honing his talents as a writer, director and producer, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for him to turn his attention to TV.”
For television, King has directed multiple episodes of Shrill for Hulu, and before that, was a writer and director on HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness and High Maintenance. He is the writer and director of Newlyweeds, which premiered at Sundance in 2013 and earned King an Independent Spirit Award.
“My first professional directing gig was shooting a pilot presentation for FX and I’ve been trying to get back in the fold ever since,” said King. “Our tastes, quite simply, align. I’m so excited to see what Brandon, myself, and the folks over there are able to cook up.”
Harris was most recently a development executive for Amazon Studios, where he oversaw Amazon Original productions Master, coming in 2022, and The Voyeurs as well as acquisitions that include the Spirit Award nominated Blown the Man Down and the Oscar nominated Time.
King is represented by UTA and Stuart M. Rosenthal of Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher. Harris is repped by André Des Rochers of Granderson Des Rochers LLP and Matt McGowan of Francis Goldin Literary Agency.
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