Illumination Signs Greg Kalleres To Overall Writing Deal


EXCLUSIVE: We have learned that Chris Meledandri’s animation studio Illumination has struck an overall writing deal with award-winning playwright and screenwriter Greg Kalleres.

Kalleres has a number of projects already in the works. He’s currently writing the feature project The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up based on the New York Times bestselling novel, at Sony with Misher Films producing. His screenplay Our Condolences was featured on the 2018 Black List, and will be produced by Jessica Elbaum and Will Ferrell of Gloria Sanchez Productions with Dan Rush (Everything Must Go) directing. Ferrell is also attached to star.

On the TV side, Kalleres’ original half hour comedy Date With Death is also in development at Fox. He has also written and produced commercials for ESPN, Nike, CFDA, Brand Jordan, Budweiser, New York Magazine, Twitter and Google. Kalleres was also the lead writer on the award-winning “This is SportsCenter” campaign and created ESPN’s Monday Night Football campaign, “Is it Monday Yet?”

The playwright’s satire about race and advertising, Honky, was a Los Angeles Times and New York Times Critics’ Pick, for which he received the Urban Stages Emerging Playwright Award. His latest play, Wrecked, opened to rave reviews at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. Kalleres’ Apropos of Nothing won the 2018 Reva Shiner Comedy Award at The Bloomington Playwrights Project. He was also lauded with the Certificate of Excellence from the Kennedy Center, and is a two-time finalist for the Playwrights Program at Juilliard.

Kalleres is repped by Verve, Gotham Group and Jackoway Tyerman.

Next up for Illumination this summer, from the highest grossing animated franchise in history ($3.7 billion), is the untold story of one 12-year-old’s dream to become the world’s greatest supervillain, in Minions: The Rise of Gru. Universal dropped a trailer for the pic during Super Bowl. Oscar nominee Steve Carell returns as Gru.

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