Netflix Orders Black Superhero Family Drama ‘Raising Dion,’ from Michael B. Jordan and MACRO

Michael B. Jordan to Executive Produce and appear in “Raising Dion” for Netflix (via shadowandact.com)

by Trey Magnum via shadowandact.com

A black superhero family drama from Michael B. Jordan and Charles D. King’s MACRO is coming to Netflix. The streaming giant has greenlit Raising Dion for a 10-episode, straight-to-series order. It is based on Dennis Liu‘s viral short film of the same name, which revolves around a black mother who discovers her young son has multiple and constantly changing abilities.

Jordan will executive produce and also appear in the series in a supporting capacity. Veteran showrunner Carol Barbee is on board and wrote the Netflix adaptation and will serve as showrunner and will executive produce. Liu will direct and executive produce MACRO’s Charles D. King, Kim Roth and Poppy Hanks are also executive producing along with Kenny Goodman and Michael Green. This is the first TV series order for MACRO.

The Netflix series will follow a woman named Nicole Reese, who raises her son Dion after the death of her husband Mark (Jordan). The normal dramas of raising a son as a single mom are amplified when Dion starts to manifest several magical, superhero-like abilities. Nicole must now keep her son’s gifts secret with the help of Mark’s best friend Pat, and protect Dion from antagonists out to exploit him while figuring out the origin of his abilities.

According to THR, the show, which first began development in 2016, was retooled and tapped a new showrunner in Barbee after the success of Eleven on Netflix’s Stranger Things, so the shows would not overlap. At the end of 2016 it got back on track and Jordan joined the project in early 2017. Casting started in February, but as of now, Jordan is the only one attached to appear.

The original Raising Dion short film is below. A comic book companion was also released.

To read full article, go to: Netflix orders black superhero family drama ‘Raising Dion,’ from Michael B. Jordan and MACRO

Denzel Washington to Direct and Star in “Fences” Movie for Paramount

Denzel Washington Cecil B. DeMille

Denzel Washington (UNIMEDIA IMAGES/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Denzel Washington will star in and direct a movie version of August Wilson’s “Fences” for Paramount Pictures with Viola Davis on board to star.

Both actors won Tony Awards for their performance in the 2010 Broadway revival of “Fences.” Bron Creative and Macro are producing the movie with Washington, based on Wilson’s screen adaptation of his Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Scott Rudin and Todd Black are producing with Washington. Executive producers are Eli Bush; Bron Creative’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth, Andy Pollack; Macro’s Charles D. King and Kim Roth along with co-executive producer Poppy Hanks.

Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures said, “This important and beloved play has been a passion of Denzel’s for many years and it is with great excitement that we embark together to bring his dream project to the big screen.”

“Fences” is the story of a one-time promising baseball player, now working as a Pittsburgh garbage collector, and the complicated relationships with his wife, son, and friends. The film’s ensemble cast includes Stephen Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Jovan Adepo and Saniyya Sydney.

“Fences” is Washington’s third outing behind the camera following “The Great Deabaters” and “Antwone Fisher.”

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/denzel-washington-viola-davis-starring-fences-movie-1201750942/

Ryan Coogler, Destin Cretton, Chinaka Hodge and Charles King’s Macro Team Up for ‘Minors’ TV Series

Ryan Coogler Destin Daniel Charles D

(L to R) Ryan Cooler, Destin Daniel Cretton, Charles King, Chinaka Hodge (photo via Variety.com)

article by Laura Prudom via Variety.com

“Creed” director Ryan Coogler, “Short Term 12” helmer Destin Daniel Cretton and production company Macro (founded by Charles King) are teaming to develop a new TV series, “Minors,” Variety has learned.

Created by Coogler, Cretton and writer Chinaka Hodge, “Minors” will tackle institutionalization in a unique and fresh way by exploring juvenile facilities and the kids that grow up in the system. The drama will be specifically structured to show how the facilities shape the kids over a one-year time period. The project is based on Cretton’s experience working in residential foster care, Coogler’s East Bay area upbringing and time working in a juvenile detention facility, and Hodge’s experience teaching underserved youth in Bay Area continuation schools and her 15 years of working with local youth.

The series will be exec produced by Coogler, Cretton, Hodge, King, Macro’s president of production Kim Roth, and Macro’s SVP of production Poppy Hanks. “Short Term 12” producer Asher Goldstein will serve as co-executive producer. Coogler and Cretton will direct the series, with Hodge penning the scripts. It remains to be seen where the project will land, but given the auspices, the show is likely to attract interest from both traditional and streaming networks.

Following the success of “Creed,” which scored Sylvester Stallone an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor, Coogler will next direct Marvel’s “Black Panther.”  Hodge previously served as an associate producer of HBO’s “Brave New Voices,” and appeared in the premium cabler’s “Poetry.” She is a founding member of Blackout for Human Rights.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/minors-series-ryan-coogler-destin-cretton-charles-king-1201714996/

CEO Charles King Lands Apple Heiress Laurene Jobs as Leading Investor in Multicultural Media Company MACRO

Macro CEO Charles King

MACRO Founder and CEO Charles King

According to Variety.com, former William Morris Endeavor (WME) agency partner Charles King has lined up Apple heiress Laurene Powell Jobs as the leading investor in MACRO, the media company King recently founded to produce content for the African-American, Latino and multicultural markets.

King announced Wednesday that Jobs’ Emerson Collective would head the first round of investment in his company, with contributions also coming from a host of other technology and innovation firms and individuals, including Michael Kassan’s Medialink, and MNM Creative, a multi-national media and entertainment company. The announcement did not describe the size of the individual investments in the initial funding round, but put the total infusion in the eight-figure range.

King left the talent agency and announced the formation of his new company at the beginning of the year, with a focus on building ownership of creative properties conceived and made by minority artists. One of the most prominent minority agents in Hollywood, King was the long-time representative of multi-hyphenate Tyler Perry. MACRO has signaled that it will be announcing projects with filmmakers Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”) and Craig Brewer (“Hustle & Flow”).

MACRO Charles King

Other investors in MACRO include Raymond McGuire, the global head of corporate and investment banking at Citigroup, tech entrepreneur Justin Yoshimura and Michael Kane, managing director of the Los Angeles-based private equity firm Caltius Capital.

Jobs is the widow of Apple computer founder Steve Jobs. Her net worth has been pegged by Forbes at more than $18 billion. Her Emerson Collective had previously provided seed money to small startups focused on education and health care.

“Charles is uniquely poised to lead what’s sure to become the kind of media company that will launch careers and brands, but more importantly, add rich value to our entertainment culture,” Jobs said in a statement. “Charles has an extraordinary set of creative instincts — he’s demonstrated a remarkable ability to amplify talent, trends and content to multi-cultural audiences throughout his career.”

King said that his company would serve a market that “has been vastly underserved for too long.” He called the newly-announced investors “boundary-pushing, innovative thinkers and leaders in their respective fields of technology, finance and media.”

original article by James Rainey; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

Hollywood Agent Charles King Launches Multicultural Media Firm MACRO

Charles King

Charles King (Courtesy of MACRO)

One of Hollywood’s most powerful black agents is making a new start. Charles King is leaving William Morris Endeavor to form MACRO, a startup that will focus on developing content for multicultural audiences.

With an unspecified “eight figures” in funding, Los Angeles-based MACRO initially will focus on developing and distributing feature films, TV series and digital content targeting African-American, Latino and multicultural markets.

King, 45, whose clients have included Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey, tells The Hollywood Reporter that MACRO’s goal is to focus on audiences that have long been underserved by the traditional entertainment industry. “I’ve been sitting in these rooms for the last 15 years. The studios aren’t focused on it; the packagers aren’t focused on it,” he says. “There’s a huge void and a huge opportunity.”

He points to the lack of capital available to minority-focused filmmakers and says he’s looking to change that with MACRO, which will leverage crowdfunding platforms and co-financing to target films that range from “artistically inclined independents” in the $1 million to $3 million budget range up to $20 million projects. He points to films such as BarbershopThe Butler and Ride Alongas examples of the types of projects he hopes to produce. “The one underlying theme is ‘premium,’ ” he says. “I’m looking for artistic integrity.”

King already has lined up projects from filmmakers Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) and Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow). Both were represented by King at WME and say they jumped at the opportunity to continue to work with him in a new capacity.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: