From Writer/Producer Tracy Oliver and Producer E. Brian Dobbins
Beverly Hills, CA – (December 7, 2021) – MRC Film announced today their upcoming feature film The Blackening, from director Tim Story featuring an all-star ensemble cast. Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip, First Wives Club) wrote the feature film adaptation alongside Dewayne Perkins (“The Amber Ruffin Show,” “Brooklyn Nine Nine”). In addition to directing the film, Story will also produce via his The Story Company banner alongside Oliver’s Tracy Yvonne Productions and E. Brian Dobbins of Artists First. Jason Clark and Marcei Brown will also produce for Catchlight Studios. Principal photography recently wrapped in Los Angeles.
The talented ensemble includes a robust roundup of top artists from some of the most popular film and television projects in Hollywood. The Blackening stars: Dewayne Perkins (“The Upshaws,” “Saved by the Bell“), Grace Byers (“Harlem,” “Empire”), Jermaine Fowler (Coming 2 America, Judas and the Black Messiah), Melvin Gregg (“Nine Perfect Strangers,” “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”), Jay Pharoah (“SNL,” “Resort to Love”), Yvonne Orji (“Insecure,” “Vacation Friends”), Antoinette Robertson (“Dear White People”), X Mayo (“The Good Doctor,” The Farewell), and Sinqua Walls (''Resort to Love,” “American Soul”).
Based on the 2018 Comedy Central digital short written by Perkins, The Blackening centers around seven Black friends who go away for the weekend only to find themselves trapped in a cabin with a killer who has a vendetta. The feature expands on the original short’s basic premise: “The Black cast member is always the first to die in a horror movie, but what happens when everyone is Black?”
Story has directed ten major studio feature films—eight of them have debuted number one at the box office during opening weekend—most recently 2021’s Tom & Jerry as well as Ride Along 2, Think Like A Man Too, Ride Along, Think Like A Man, Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four, and Barbershop. His films have grossed over $1 billion at the box office making him the first ever Black director to cross this milestone mark. On the television side, Story is currently a director and executive producer of ABC’s “Queens.”
The Blackening digital short was written by Perkins for the Chicago improv group 3-PEAT, where he was a member. 3-PEAT’s other members include Chris Redd, John Thibodeaux, Shantira Jackson, Lisa Beasley, Nnamdi Ngwe, Patrick Rowland, Allison Blair, and Torian Miller.
Tim Story is represented by UTA and Attorney Matt Johnson; Tracy Oliver is represented by Artists First, ICM and Myman Abel; Dewayne Perkins is represented by Artists First, APA, and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham LLP.
Grace Byers is represented by Gersh, Viewpoint, and Principal Entertainment. Jermaine Fowler is represented by Management 360, UTA & Yorn, Barnes, Levine, Krinztman, Rubenstein, Kohner, Endlich & Gellman. Melvin Gregg is represented by 3 Arts, CAA, and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman. Jay Pharoah is represented by ICM Partners, Shaina Farrow, Hansen Jacobson and imPRint. Antoinette Robertson is represented by Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson. Sinqua Walls is represented by Artists First and Paradigm.
ABOUT MRC FILM
MRC Film is a leading independent studio known for championing singular filmmakers and emerging directors to make high-quality distinctive films and for its selective investments in major studio films, collectively which have earned more than $6 billion in worldwide box office and received accolades including 12 Academy® Award nominations and 11 Golden Globe® Award nominations. Upcoming projects include: The Mothership, starring Halle Berry and from writer and director Matt Charman for Netflix; Persuasion, starring Dakota Johnson and from director Carrie Cracknell for Netflix, and Jerry & Marge Go Large starring Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening from director David Frankel for Paramount+. Past films include the highest grossing original R-rated comedy of all time, Ted, the Oscar® and Golden Globe nominated Knives Out, the Oscar nominated Baby Driver, Oscar-winning Babel, and the comedy The Lovebirds. MRC Film has co-financed films including The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, the Peter Rabbit franchise, the second and third installments of Hotel Transylvania, 22 Jump Street, Think Like a Man Too, and Fast & Furious 7. For more information, please visit www.mrcentertainment.com.
ABOUT CATCHLIGHT STUDIOS
Founded in Los Angeles in January 2020 by Marcei Brown, Jason Clark, Jessica Malanaphy, Rick Osako and Jeanette Volturno, Catchlight Studios is a collective of producers who are passionate about supporting storytellers on every level. Catchlight brings together a powerful team of producers with countless years of experience. We believe in fostering diverse talent, both behind and in front of the camera, and are committed to telling stories that capture the imagination.
ABOUT THE STORY COMPANY
The Story Company is a full-service production company founded by director Tim Story. Currently in development at the company is Praise This, the Universal Pictures’ musical comedy to be directed by Tina Gordon as a music-competition feature set in the world of gospel choirs as well as a limited series based on the deadly 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. Founder/CEO Tim Story has directed ten major studio feature films—eight of them have debuted number one at the box office during opening weekend—Tom & Jerry, Ride Along 2, Think Like A Man Too, Ride Along, Think Like A Man, Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four and Barbershop. His films have grossed over $1 billion at the box office making him the first African American director to cross this milestone mark. Story is currently the executive producer and director of ABC’s new TV series, “Queens.” Vicky Story is Co-Founder of The Story Company.