The LeBron James entertainment empire is expanding. Universal Pictures has signed the SpringHill Company, James’ consumer and entertainment brand run by CEO Maverick Carter, to a four-year first-look deal, Variety reported Tuesday.
The tie-up will include an upcoming film based on Shooting Stars, a book by Buzz Bissinger and LeBron James that traced James’s high school years, as well as at least two other projects already underway.
“We’re already partnering with LeBron and Maverick on some exciting projects in active development, with more to come,” Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley said, “and we look forward to leveraging our resources across the NBCU portfolio to amplify those titles and bring important voices like SpringHill to a global audience.”
In 2015, SpringHill made a similar agreement with Warner Bros. that reportedly expired last year. The most notable product of that partnership is the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring James and currently set for a July 2021 release.
Variety reported in February that Disney, Amazon and Netflix were all interested in working with SpringHill, and SpringHill signed a two-year overall deal with Disney’s ABC Studios for scripted TV projects in June.
In the TV world, SpringHill has been behind NBC’s The Wall game show, as well as this spring’s Graduate Together special. Simulcast on broadcast networks and the internet, Graduate Together drew nearly 15 million viewers.
“The SpringHill Company’s purpose is to empower greatness in every individual,” Carter said. “With Universal, we’re aligned in making sure socially conscious and purposeful elements are felt in all of our stories, whether it’s a drama, comedy, family or even a horror film.”
The SpringHill Company includes both SpringHill Entertainment, the film and TV production company, and Uninterrupted, James’ athlete empowerment brand, as well as brand consultancy, The Robot Company. SpringHill raised $100 million earlier this year.
SpringHill is named after the public-housing complex where James—who will play for his fourth NBA championship Wednesday—grew up in Akron, Ohio.