Oscar-winning Hair Love short film will get a TV spin-off for HBO Max
There's still lots of love for Hair Love, the Oscar-winning short film from writer and co-director Matthew A. Cherry. The latest comes from HBO Max, which will now be the home of a full-fledged 2D-animated TV series based on the short, WarnerMedia announced Tuesday.
Hair Love got its start in 2017 through a Kickstarter campaign and went on to receive viral attention from online audiences with a story about a Black father attempting to master styling his young daughter's hair. The short, which also spawned a bestselling children's book, then grabbed the attention of Sony Pictures Animation and made its theatrical debut ahead of The Angry Birds Movie 2 in 2019. It later won the Oscar for Best Animated Short at the Academy Awards ceremony this past February.
The new series, Young Love, will expand the story of the Young family from the short. The 12-episode first season will focus on millennial parents Stephen and Angela, daughter Zuri, and pet Rocky "as they juggle their careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues, and multi-generational dynamics all while striving to make a better life for themselves," according to a logline description.
Cherry created Young Love and will serve as showrunner with Carl Jones (The Boondocks). Hair Love featured the voice of Insecure's Issa Rae as the mother, though it's unclear if she will return for the series. It's worth noting that Rae is already a part of the WarnerMedia family and is currently developing a project for HBO Max called Rap Sh*t, so a return feels likely.
“I am beyond excited to continue telling the story of Stephen, Angela, and Zuri and further explore the family dynamics of a young Black millennial family we established in our short film Hair Love as an animated series,” Cherry said in a statement. “Couldn’t ask for better partners in Sony Pictures Animation and HBO Max in helping us get Young Love out to the world.”
This marks the first announcement from Cherry's newly struck first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television, which will see the director developing comedies, dramas, and event series. He was also tapped to helm the heist movie The Come Up for New Line.