Ava Duvernay and Warner Television End Overall Deal

Ava Duvernay and Warner Television are calling it quits on their overall five-year deal.

The overall deal ends on May 31 and Duvernay will continue focusing on her film projects, via The Hollywood Reporter. It had nothing to do with the ongoing writer’s strike between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers as Duvernay and Warner came to the mutual decision months before studios suspended overall deals with writers.

Duvernay inked the deal when Peter Roth was still steering the ship at Warner and the media giant was prioritizing deals with diverse writers, producers, and directors.

“Ava DuVernay is one of the leading lights in our industry, a brilliantly talented writer, producer, director and entrepreneur whose ability to inspire with her art is exceeded only by her ability to entertain,” Roth said in a statement at the time.

There were claims that Duvernay’s deal was worth $100 million, but insiders have since said the deal was between $60 and $80 million.

As part of the deal, Duvernay released Queen Sugar on OWN, CBS’ For Justice, The CW’s DC Comics entry Naomi and Max’s DMZ. Her Netflix series, Colin in Black & White and When They See Us were produced outside of DuVernay’s ARRAY deal with WBTV.

Duvernay’s latest TV project is a romantic series for Starz starring Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff. However, production for the show has been put on pause amid the ongoing WGA strike.

No word on where Duvernay will move her television deal. Now with Roth serving as a board member on DuVernay’s ARRAY banner, the Wrinkle in Time director could establish her independent studio without the need for an overall TV deal thanks to her deep relationships with networks, studios, and streamers across the industry.

The Selma director is currently in post-production on her film Caste, which includes Vera Farmiga, Niecy Nash, Nick Offerman, Jon Bernthal, Audra McDonald, and Connie Nielsen, Deadline reports.