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The creator of Dear White People — both the indie darling and the Netflix adaptation that followed — has inked an overall deal with the independent studio. As part of the new, multiyear pact, the writer/producer/director will not only continue making his critically praised, Lionsgate-produced series, but also develop and produce new fare. The deal comes on the heels of Dear White People’s third-season renewal at the streaming giant.
“We’re thrilled to expand our multifaceted relationship with the incredibly talented Justin Simien, who has already shepherded one of the most exciting cross-divisional properties in our portfolio,” said Lionsgate Executive VP and Head of Worldwide Scripted Television Chris Selak, adding: “Justin has an original, bold and refreshing creative voice that has become part of the national conversation, and we can’t wait for the projects he’ll bring us next.”
Simien was similarly effusive in his praise of the studio, which also produced his breakout film: “Lionsgate embraces the creative vision of its artists and is committed to ground-breaking original content for its audiences. I couldn’t be more excited to expand my collaboration with Kevin [Beggs], Chris and the rest of the television team on exciting new projects that speak to our diverse viewers while continuing to push the envelope creatively.”
All of this comes at a particularly busy time for Simien, who is also prepping his second feature, a horror satire titled Bad Hair, and collaborating with longtime pal Lena Waithe on a TBS project, Twenties. On Lionsgate’s roster, he joins his Dear White People showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser, as well as Courtney Kemp (Power), Paul Feig (The Joel McHale Show With Joel McHale) and Nashville’s Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. Simien is repped by WME, Grandview and Del Shaw.
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