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Suzanne de Passe Production Company Signs 3-Year First Look Deal With Universal

by Tambay A. Obenson
October 17, 2011 9:02 AM
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Former Motown executive and now primarily TV and film producer, Suzanne de Passe has signed a 3-year "first-look" deal with Universal Pictures via her de Passe Jones production company, which she runs with Phillip Madison Jones.

So what does that mean exactly? Well, basically, Universal has the right of "first refusal" on projects de Passe Jones proposes to develop. And if Universal, after "first-looking" at the proposed project, isn't interested and decline to back it, then de Passe Jones can offer it up to another studio, or interested company.

So, essentially, despite the agreement, there are no guarantees of anything here... other than that Universal will seriously consider the project when presented.

But it's a "good look" nonetheless... after all, it's not like I'm in any position to sign any first-look deals with Universal, or any other studio or production company.

So good luck to Ms de Passe, who is also currently on board to co-produce Steven Spielberg's planned MLK project.

Her resume includes producing sitcoms like Sister, Sister for the WB, mini-series like The Temptations for NBC, and made-for-TV movies like The Jacksons: An American Dream. She also produced a number of TV awards shows like the NAACP Awards, Essence Awards, and Black Movie Awards.

What can we expect from this first-look deal with Universal? Time will tell...

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  • Leigh Loeb | October 29, 2011 6:43 AMReply

    Suzanne de Passe is a classic case on falling upward. She has had absolutely no success outside of the gifts given to her by Berry Gordy -- including a phony credit for "Lady Sings The Blues" -- a screenplay she did not write (but for one sentence). That Spielberg would need her for the MLK project is almost PRO-racism. If Suzanne weren't black, he wouldn't USE her.

    I know Suzanne. And the only thing Suzanne is good at is promoting Suzanne de Passe. And Hollywood proves again that talent is NOT a requirement for monetary success.

  • Mekisha Hale | October 18, 2011 4:59 AMReply

    Glad to hear that "Suzanne de Passe" has a deal with Universal Pictures. I would like if something of a movie project will be made. This is sort of an interesting time,for women "African American" people in the business from Oprah Winfrey Network. To director/actor/producer "Tyler Perry" recent deal late summer of this year. Now hopefully with Motown executive "Suzanne de Passe" she can bring some projects to "Universal Pictures". With already that has been written is her resume which is amazing from television to mini series of "The Temptations" which is my all time favorite mini series on the group. And so many other projects hopefully with the success with those projects of the past that "Suzanne de Passe" that the same success will continue with the deal with "Universal Pictures".

  • Orville | October 18, 2011 2:52 AMReply

    I do not see this as a big deal, and I just wish black directors or people in the industry would take RISK try something different than the conventional romantic comedy or a boring biopic.

  • Kia | October 18, 2011 2:31 AMReply

    Good news only if what will be produced strays off the beaten path aka remakes, biographical depictions, etc, etc. With that said, I hope Ms. De Passe will explore some with other genres.

  • toexplain | October 17, 2011 12:22 PMReply

    This is a standard agreement for 99% of deals at studios.

    She helped the Comcast/Univ merger, and she gets her deal in return

  • Betty Chambers | October 17, 2011 10:15 AMReply

    I feel like these have these deals every couple of years and then nothing happens.

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