10:00am PT by Carolyn Giardina
Matthew Cherry's 'Hair Love' Becoming HBO Max Animated Series
HBO Max has ordered a 12-episode animated series based on Oscar-winning animated short Hair Love from its writer-director, Matthew A. Cherry, and Sony Pictures Animation.
Cherry will showrun the series with Carl Jones (The Boondocks, Black Dynamite). Cherry and Jones also will be writing with Dayna Lynne North (Insecure). It will be executive produced by North, Blue Key Entertainment's Monica A. Young (a producer on Hair Love), along with Lion Forge Animation's David Steward II and Carl Reed.
Like Cherry's best-selling book of the same name, Hair Love follows an African American father who has to learn to do his daughter Zuri's hair. Young Love, the 2D animated series, will explore family dynamics through this young Black millennial family — Stephen and Angela, their daughter, Zuri, and her pet cat, Rocky — as they juggle their careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues and multigenerational dynamics, all while striving to make a better life for themselves.
The news comes fresh off Cherry's multiyear first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television.
"I am beyond excited to continue telling the story of Stephen, Angela and Zuri and further explore the dynamics of a young Black millennial family we established in our short film Hair Love as an animated series," said Cherry in a released statement. "Couldn't ask for better partners in Sony Pictures Animation and HBO Max in helping us get Young Love out into the world." The deal also reunites him with Karen Rupert Toliver, the Oscar-winning producer of Hair Love, who serves as executive vp at Sony's animation studio.
"Hair Love struck a chord that is still resonating deeply with audiences of all ages," said Billy Wee, senior vp original animation at HBO Max, in a statement. "Matthew and Sony Animation’s creative voices are a welcomed addition to the HBO Max family and we can’t wait to bring this joyous story to the world."
Sony Pictures Animation's most recent feature was the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and upcoming titles include Connected, produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller; and the studio’s first animated musical, Vivo, featuring original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Cherry's first feature was 2012's The Last Fall, and TV credits include directing episodes of Black-Ish, Mixed-ish, The Unicorn and The Last O.G. The former NFL wide receiver is repped by ICM Partners, Blue Key Management and R. Vaughn Gill.
5:40 p.m.: Updated with the addition of Dayna Lynne North.