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RuPaul is diving head first into the scripted TV arena.
The Drag Race mastermind has signed a first-look scripted TV deal with Sony Pictures TV and launched a production company, RuCo, tapping former State Street Pictures exec Jay Marcus to serve as head of film and TV.
Under the new pact, RuCo will focus on queer, character-driven dramas, comedies and animated shows that feature RuPaul’s brand of positivity, empowerment, humor and music.
“Not only I am thrilled and honored to join the Sony Pictures Television family, but I’m also extremely grateful for the opportunity to tell unique stories that push the conversation forward,” RuPaul said in a statement Monday.
RuPaul does not have a first-look deal in the unscripted space, but does have a pact with World of Wonder for ViacomCBS hit RuPaul’s Drag Race. The Sony TV deal does not impact RuPaul’s work on the Drag Race franchise, which includes multiple spinoffs. His work on Drag Race has made history with the most Emmy awards of any Black artist in history (11).
Over the years, RuPaul has developed multiple scripted series including Netflix’s AJ and the Queen (which was canceled after one season on Netflix) and Queen, a fictionalized version of his life, which has been in the works at Hulu with J.J. Abrams attached.
“As a kid in high school, I was mocked for dancing to RuPaul’s hit song ‘Supermodel.’ I never imagined then how many walls Ru would break down for the LGBTQIA+ and straight allied communities alike,” Sony TV co-president Jason Clodfelter said. “Ru’s love for all people correlates to the cultural specificity we crave in our storytelling at Sony Pictures Television. We are honored to be a part of Ru’s continued history-making journey.”
For his part, Marcus spent the past six years at George Tillman Jr. and Bob Teitel’s State Street, serving as head of film and TV and working on titles including The Hate U Give, The Crossover and On the Come Up. Before that, he worked in scripted at MTV on scripted series Faking It, Finding Carter and Scream. He’s also had roles at Endeavor and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps and spent three years at Fake Empire.
RuPaul and RuCo are repped by CAA and attorney Jessica Boardman.
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