Ava DuVernay and Warner Bros. overall deal ends

Written by on May 12, 2023

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Ava DuVernay and Warner Bros. are going their separate ways. The popular TV and film creator has reportedly decided not to renew her five-year deal with the major studio.

95th Annual Academy Awards - Governors Ball
Ava DuVernay attends the Governors Ball during the 95th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

DuVernay first signed her multiyear and multigenre overall deal with Warner Bros. back in 2018, which at the time was worth about $100 million. The five-year deal comes to a close this month, and the “Selma” filmmaker has decided to end her deal, per The Hollywood Reporter. The outlet reports that DuVernay is focused on film at the moment, with her upcoming project “Caste” currently in production for Netflix.

While the timing of the decision comes in the middle of the current Writers Guild of America strike, “Warners and DuVernay’s decision to let the deal expire was a mutual one and was made months ago,” per The Hollywood Reporter.

Under the deal, DuVernay produced various film and television projects, including her acclaimed family drama on OWN “Queen Sugar,” “Naomi” on The CW, “For Justice” on CBS, and “DMZ” on Max. The creator still produced other work outside of her deal throughout the five years, however, including her Emmy Award-winning limited series on The Central Park Five, “When They See Us,” and “Colin in Black & White” on Netflix.

“Caste” is set to star acting heavyweights Audra McDonald and Myles Frost, both Tony Award-winning performers for their work on the stage, as theGrio previously reported. Based on the best-selling non-fiction book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson, the project will explore the caste system, a system of social hierarchy that has shaped the world and the United States of America.

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