Whether it’s through social change-driven lyrics or the production of thought-provoking films, John Legend has masterfully used different avenues of artistry to bring forth poignant stories. His latest move will enable him to expand his production imprint. According to Deadline, Legend—whose real name is John Roger Stephens—has inked a content development deal with NBCUniversal.
Under the pact, which was made through Get Lifted Film Co.—which he leads alongside Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius—the company will create scripted content for UCP. The deal also encompasses a first-look agreement for unscripted content. Get Lifted Film Co. has led and contributed to the production of a wide range of projects, including the television series “Underground,” the Netflix film “Jingle Jangle,” the documentary “Citizen Ashe” about the life and legacy of tennis legend Arthur Ashe, and the docuseries “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children.” Amongst the current projects on Get Lifted’s slate is “Loudmouth”; a film that delves into Rev. Al Sharpton’s journey.
News about the deal comes a month after producer Debra Martin Chase expanded her first-look, multi-year partnership with Universal Television.
In an interview with Variety, Jackson shared Get Lifted’s mission is rooted in amplifying the stories of underrepresented communities and celebrating the contributions of creatives of color.
“There are all kinds of races of people, with diversity within those races and there are so many different stories to tell,” he shared. “As a Black-owned company, we felt a responsibility that would put on ourselves to always try to highlight females and people of color throughout all of our productions. I think we’re always going to keep focused on that — multicultural storytelling. We love stories that are grounded and representative of the community and give people a lens into a world or person that they may not otherwise have. That’s important to us whether it’s TV, film, theater or documentary that people walk away from a Get Lifted project feeling they’ve learned something.”