Right before the release of their upcoming production “Girl’s Trip” directed by Malcolm D. Lee, Universal Pictures has locked a first-look production agreement with writer, director and producer Malcolm D. Lee and his Blackmaled Productions. The word-of-mouth on his newest comedy (“Girl’s Trip” ) is strong, and the “raunchy comedy with something for everyone” is set to open, in North America on July 21.
The news has hit all of the trader papers and African-American twitter is buzzing. The announcement was made by Peter Cramer, President of Production, Universal Pictures.
“Starting with The Best Man, Malcolm has an incredible track record telling resonant stories that make audiences laugh and cry, which he has done brilliantly once again with Girls Trip,” said Cramer. “We are thrilled to formalize our long-standing relationship with Malcolm by welcoming his company to the lot, and we are excited about making many more films with him, starting with his next film, Night School.”
“I am extremely gratified to officially be a part of the Universal family,” said Lee. “This is a place I’ve always considered my home. They have respected and been supportive of my vision as a filmmaker, and I hope to continue the great success that I’ve had at Universal as we continue this fruitful partnership.”
Malcom Lee is related to Spike Lee and with his strong family roots deeply embedded in the arts, entertainment and education, he has been making films since the age of 12, and has been working professionally in the entertainment industry since age 17 as a production assistant, apprentice film editor, casting associate and director’s assistant to his cousin, the aforementioned legendary filmmaker Spike Lee.
To his credit, Lee has directed five of his nine films to date with Universal beginning with his directorial debut, the critically acclaimed audience favorite “The Best Man,” which debuted in October of 1999, and scored a No. 1 ranking at the box office. The film’s ensemble cast starred Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Regina Hall, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard, Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan and Monica Calhoun. He went on to direct the action-comedy “Undercover Brother,” which starred Eddie Griffin, Dave Chappelle and Neil Patrick Harris in May 2002 and again earned stellar reviews. His third feature, “Roll Bounce,” starring “Bow Wow”, Mike Epps, Nick Cannon, and Meagan Good debuted in September 2005.
With his next two films, Lee continued to use his voice to tell the heartfelt and nuanced stories of lives not often seen in mainstream studio films with the comedies “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins,” starring Martin Lawrence, Mo’Nique, and Cedric The Entertainer, and “Soul Men” starring Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac. Both films opened in 2008. However it was the sequel to his first film where Lee scored his biggest box-office hit. In November of 2013, with the original cast reunited, “The Best Man Holiday,” grossed $30.5 million in its opening weekend alone, pleasing audiences and shocking the industry with a game-changing debut. April of 2016 saw the release of the critically acclaimed, “Barbershop, The Next Cut” starring Ice Cube, Regina Hall, Cedric the Entertainer, and Anthony Anderson, and this week will see his latest film “Girls Trip,” starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish.
Among his upcoming feature projects, Lee is in pre-production to direct his sixth directorial outing with Universal, “Night School,” starring Kevin Hart, and produced by Hart and Will Packer, as well as the next installment of the popular Best Man franchise, “The Best Man Wedding,” which he will write and direct.
Lee and his Blackmaled Productions were represented in the deal by Paradigm and Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano.
When four lifelong friends—Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish—travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush. Producer Will Packer (Ride Along and Think Like a Man franchises, upcoming Almost Christmas) presents Girls Trip, a new comedy from director/producer Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man franchise, Barbershop: The Next Cut). James Lopez, head of motion pictures for Will Packer Productions, and Preston Holmes, executive produce.
Cast: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Larenz Tate, Kate Walsh, Mike Colter, Kofi Siriboe
Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee
Screenplay by: Kenya Barris & Tracy Oliver
Story by: Erica Rivinoja and Kenya Barris & Tracy Oliver
Produced by: Will Packer, Malcolm D. Lee
Executive Producers: Preston Holmes, James Lopez
Girls Trip directed by Malcom Lee, is set to open in North America on July 21.
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