Ava DuVernay signs major deal with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films
OWN also renewed 'Queen Sugar' for season 3
The partnership between Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey is set to continue. The acclaimed director has signed a first-look deal for film and television with Winfrey’s Harpo Films, it was announced Wednesday. The first result of that partnership will be DuVernay’s upcoming scripted series about the Central Park Five for Netflix.
“There is fresh air and room to roam,” DuVernay said in a statement. “There is an artist-driven atmosphere and an intention to share stories that nourish. There is a spirit of inclusivity and imagination moving at all times. This is the new era of OWN. I’m thrilled to continue to collaborate with Ms. Winfrey as we expand the scope of our storytelling. And I feel fortunate to be a small part of this network at such a wonderful time in its evolution.”
DuVernay and Winfrey will also continue working together on Queen Sugar, which OWN just renewed for a third season. In addition to the season 3 renewal, it was announced that some new faces will join the show during its ongoing second season: Michael Michele and Roger Guenveur Smith will play the parents of Darla (Bianca Lawon), while Beverly Todd will play the respected matriarchal activist Mother Olivia Brown. Season 2 of Queen Sugar also continues DuVernay’s commitment to an all-female directing team, with Garrett Bradley, Liesl Tommy, and Christina Voros making their television directing debuts later this season.
“I’m so proud of Ava and her ability as a filmmaker to challenge the status quo and push for inclusiveness on screen and behind the camera,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I love, love, love the work we have been able to create so far. I am looking forward to developing many more meaningful projects together.”
In addition to Queen Sugar, DuVernay and Winfrey previously teamed up on A Wrinkle In Time. Winfrey plays Mrs. Which in DuVernay’s new adaptation of the beloved book by Madeleine L’Engle.