David & Jessica Oyelowo Agree To First-Look Production Deal With Disney

According to a report from Deadline, Golden Globe-nominated actor, producer, and director David Oyelowo (Nightingale, Selma) and his wife, actress, writer, and producer Jessica Oyelowo (Sleepy Hollow) have signed a two-year-first-look-deal with Walt Disney Pictures for future feature-length films. 

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The Oyelowos will produce the films through their Yoruba Saxon label, with the report stating that the films could end up on any of the various Disney platforms that the studio owns. The husband and wife duo are currently focused on values-based content, as their Yoruba Saxon production label seeks to shift the culture and color outside of the lines. 

The production house’s latest film is the upcoming adventure The Water Man, which is also David Oyelowo’s feature-length directorial debut. Oyelowo stars alongside his wife, Lonnie Chavis, and Amiah Miller. The film follows a boy named Gunner (Chavis), who sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure called the Water Man that is said to possess the secret to immortality. After enlisting the help of a mysterious local girl, Jo (Miller), they journey together into the remote Wild Horse forest. However, the deeper they venture, the stranger and more dangerous the forest becomes. Their only hope for rescue is Gunner’s father (Oyelowo), who will stop at nothing to find them and in the process will discover who his son really is.

Oyelowo first worked with Disney’s live-action film division in 2016, when he starred in Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe. 

“We are excited to be working with David and Jessica Oyelowo who bring incredible thoughtfulness, an impressive and wide-ranging skillset as filmmakers, and deep industry relationships to each project they touch. We saw firsthand David’s meaningful contributions to Queen of Katwe and have admired the films Yoruba Saxon have produced thus far. We look forward to collaborating on engaging new stories with the team at Yoruba Saxon,” said Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production.”

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“The influence of Disney’s films on Jess and I as both parents and lifelong movie fans cannot be overstated. Sean Bailey and Vanessa Morrison have an incredible track record of crafting high-quality films and that is exactly what we hope to do alongside them and the Motion Picture Group at Disney. We are truly relishing the opportunity to collaborate with the most iconic brand in entertainment,” said Oyelowo.