EXCLUSIVE: Makeready has locked a non-exclusive two-year deal with Hiro Murai, the visionary, disruptive director hailed for his collaborations with Donald Glover that so far encompass the FX series Atlanta, the provocative music video for “This Is America,” and the Amazon musical Guava Island, which Glover starred in with Rihanna.
With his manager-turned-producing partner Nate Matteson, Murai has christened his production company Super Frog, and Makeready will provide Murai and Matteson independent financing to develop and produce projects that will be feature-focused but open to non-traditional formats as well. Makeready partner and Head of Film, Pam Abdy, will oversee the projects.
“Hiro has shown his innovative talent and vision know no boundaries,” said Makeready founder and CEO Brad Weston. “He is a fearless director whose creativity and experimentation has led to some of the most relevant and entertaining content that exists today. We are thrilled to work with him and Nate Matteson to expand his limitless imagination to film.”
Said Murai and Matteson: “The entire team at Makeready have an incredible track record of supporting amazing and daring films. We’re very excited about this partnership not only as a means to create our own work, but to also help guide bold filmmakers and storytellers.”
The alliance fits with Makeready’s strategy of finding emerging voices and helping them find footing in film, TV and other platforms. Upcoming projects include the Lena Waithe-scripted Melina Matsoukas-directed Queen & Slim, which Universal releases November 27 starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith; the Jonas Cuaron-directed Showtime thriller Hombre with Gael Garcia Bernal starring; and the series adaptation of the Black List script Frat Boy Genius for Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi, with shooting to start August for a drama about Snapchat founder/CEO Evan Spiegel.
It’s the second big recent overall deal for Makeready, after the first-look deal with Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and her new production shingle Excellent Cadaver.
At Super Frog, Murai and Matteson are developing several television projects through a first-look deal at FX, as well as the feature Where I End at Netflix. It will also produce a limited series, Station Eleven, with Patrick Somerville (Maniac) adapting the Emily St. John Mandel novel to air on HBO Max. Murai will direct that one.
Murai is represented by UTA, Grandview and Jackoway, Austen, Tyerman, Wetheimer; Matteson is with UTA, Grandview and Myman Greenspan Fox.