Universal Pictures has pacted with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s consumer and entertainment brand The SpringHill Company in a four-year first-look deal. Previously, SpringHill had its deal set up at Warner Bros, where they made the animated feature Space Jam: A New Legacy, a sequel to the original 1996 hit that grossed $230 million worldwide.
“LeBron, Maverick and the team at SpringHill are content creators with a purpose, and we’re excited to partner with filmmakers who challenge us to tell stories that move culture forward,” said Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley. “SpringHill’s projects are compelling, entertaining, inspiring and aim to start important conversations, which we need now more than ever. We’re already partnering with LeBron and Maverick on some exciting projects in active development, with more to come, and we look forward to leveraging our resources across the NBCU portfolio to amplify those titles and bring important voices like SpringHill to a global audience.”
Said SpringHill CEO Carter: “The SpringHill Company’s purpose is to empower greatness in every individual. With Universal, we’re aligned in making sure socially conscious and purposeful elements are felt in all of our stories, whether it’s a drama, comedy, family or even a horror film. In the same spirit, this partnership allows us to empower creators to tell the stories important to them and culture on the studio projects in the film space. Universal has been an incredibly collaborative thought partner from vision to execution and it’s clear they value championing and telling diverse stories. We’re proud to be partnering with a studio that makes telling diverse stories a mandate and not an option.”
Universal has been teaming with James, Carter and The SpringHill Company team, which includes chief content officer Jamal Henderson and head of film Spencer Beighley, on several projects in various stages of development. The studio and SpringHill’s partnership started on the Untitled LeBron James Project, which is based on the book Shooting Stars by James and Buzz Bissinger and other events in James’ life. SpringHill is producing that feature with Terence and Rachel Winter, and Chris Robinson is directing off a screenplay by Frank E. Flowers with recent revisions by Tony Rettenmaier & Juel Taylor.
Taylor is an alumnus of the Universal Writers Program. Additional SpringHill projects include New Kid, based on the first graphic novel to win the Newbery Medal by Jerry Craft, and the newly announced Catch the Wave, based on an original pitch by Ali Kinney.
The SpringHill Company is comprised of Uninterrupted, the athlete empowerment media and consumer product company; SpringHill Entertainment, the premium scripted and unscripted film and TV production company; and The Robot Company, the brand and culture consultancy.
Among SpringHill projects include the breakout broadcast special Graduate Together, NBC’s primetime game show The Wall, Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker for Netflix, and the docuseries I Promise.
James, Carter and The SpringHill Company were represented in the deal by WME and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.