Oscar-Winning 'Hair Love' Filmmaker Inks First-Look Deal With Warner Bros. TV

Matthew A. Cherry - Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy Blue Key Management

Matthew A. Cherry is starting a new chapter in his career.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker behind Hair Love has signed a multiyear first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television, for whom he will create, develop and produce new material for multiple platforms. This marks Cherry's first TV deal.

"I am beyond excited to be joining the Warner Bros. Television family in this exciting new capacity," Cherry said. "It’s an important time to be a Black creative working in this industry, and I look forward to creating impactful projects and partnering with other talented marginalized voices in our community."

The first-look pact marks an extension of sorts for Cherry with the indie studio for whom he directed episodes of CBS' The Red Line and ABC's Whiskey Cavalier. Cherry will produce all future projects via his Cherry Lane Productions banner.

The deal follows Cherry's February Oscar win for writing and directing the animated short Hair Love, about an African-American father attempting to do his daughter's hair for the first time. Released last year, the title was based on Cherry's best-selling book of the same name.

Cherry recently stood up for John Boyega following the Star Wars favorite's impassioned speech against racism and police brutality during a protest in London.

"As Black creatives, you want to work, you want to continue to use your instrument to make the world a better place and put out great depictions of people that look like you, but a lot of times when you want to speak your mind, there’s always a question: ‘Am I going to get blackballed for this?’ John just saying it plainly, for me, I wanted people to speak up and say they got his back," Cherry told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month.

Cherry's first feature film, The Last Fall, debuted at SXSW in 2012 and was followed in 2016 by 9 Rides, which he filmed entirely on iPhones. His TV credits include directing episodes of Black-ish, Mixed-ish, The Unicorn, Saved by the Bell and The Last O.G., as well as writing and directing web series Almost 30 and Almost Home. He started his career in showbiz in 2007 after an NFL career as a wide receiver. He worked as a P.A. on more than 40 commercials and earned his first directing credit in 2008 for helming a music video for Terry Dexter. He went on to work on more than 20 other music videos for artists including Michelle Williams featuring Beyoncé & Kelly Rowland, Snoop Dogg, Chloe x Halle and more.

He's repped by ICM Partners, Blue Key Management and R. Vaughn Gill.