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‘Girls Trip’ Director Malcolm D. Lee Signs First-Look Production Deal With Universal

Variety logo Variety 7/18/2017 Dave McNary
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Universal Pictures has entered into a first-look production agreement with writer, director, and producer Malcolm D. Lee and his Blackmaled Productions.

The studio made the announcement three days before the launch of its comedy “Girls Trip,” which Lee directed and produced. The announcement was made by Peter Cramer, Universal’s president of production.

“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,'” Cramer said. “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.'”

Lee said in a statement, “I am extremely gratified to officially be a part of the Universal family. 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.”

Lee has directed five of his nine films to date with Universal, beginning with his directorial debut, “The Best Man,” in 1999. He went on to helm the action-comedy “Undercover Brother” in 2002, “Roll Bounce” in 2005, “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins” and “Soul Men” in 2008, “The Best Man Holiday” in 2013, and “Barbershop: the Next Cut” in 2016.

Lee became attached to direct “Night School” last month. The comedy, starring Kevin Hart, hits theaters on Sept. 28, 2018.

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