EXCLUSIVE: Tim Story (Tom and Jerry, Universal’s Ride Along films) has wrapped principal photography on The Blackening, a horror-comedy he directed for MRC Film, which stars Dewayne Perkins (The Upshaws), Grace Byers (Amazon’s Harlem), Jermaine Fowler (Coming 2 America), Melvin Gregg (Nine Perfect Strangers), Jay Pharoah (SNL), Yvonne Orji (Insecure), Antoinette Robertson (Dear White People), X Mayo (The Farewell) and Sinqua Walls (Resort to Love).
The film centers on seven Black friends who go away for the weekend, only to find themselves trapped in a cabin with a killer. It’s based on a 2018 Comedy Central digital short written by Perkins for the Chicago improv group 3-PEAT, of which he was a member, and expands on its basic premise: “The Black cast member is always the first to die in a horror movie, but what happens when everyone is Black?”
Perkins penned the feature film adaptation with Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip). Story is producing via his The Story Company banner alongside Oliver’s Tracy Yvonne Productions, E. Brian Dobbins of Artists First, and Jason Clark and Marcei Brown for Catchlight Studios.
Story has directed ten studio features, seeing eight of them claim the number one slot at the box office during their opening weekend. His films have grossed more than $1 billion in total, making him the first Black director ever to have crossed this box office milestone. Story most recently helmed Warner Bros.’ animated pic Tom and Jerry, which hit theaters and HBO Max in February. Additional credits include Ride Along and Ride Along 2, starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, the Screen Gems comedies Think Like a Man and Think Like a Man Too, Fantastic Four and its sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer, and Barbershop. Story currently serves, on the television side, as a director and exec producer of ABC’S Queens.
MRC Film is an independent studio which has netted more than $6 billion worldwide with its films, along with 12 Oscar nominations, 11 Golden Globe noms and other accolades. Other upcoming projects from the company include Matt Charman’s Netflix sci-fi pic The Mothership, starring Halle Berry; Carrie Cracknell’s Netflix adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, starring Dakota Johnson; and David Frankel’s Paramount+ pic Jerry and Marge Go Large, starring Oscar nominees Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening.
Story is represented by UTA and attorney Matt Johnson; Oliver by Artists First, ICM Partners and Myman Greenspan Fox; Perkins by Artists First, APA, and Schreck Rose Dapello; Byers by Gersh, Principal Entertainment LA and attorney Erik Hyman; Fowler by UTA, Management 360 and Yorn, Barnes, Levine; Gregg by CAA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum; Pharoah by ICM Partners, manager Shaina Farrow and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; Orji by UTA, Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment and Del, Shaw, Moonves; Robertson by Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson; Mayo by UTA and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz; and Walls by Paradigm and Artists First.
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