High profile writer and creator Lee Daniels has signed a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox.
The studio is one of the assets Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has agreed to sell to the Walt Disney Co., and retaining talent is a priority.
The competition for talent is especially fierce these days with digital companies spending billions to create original content. Earlier this year Ryan Murphy, who created many hit for Fox, was lured to Netflix with a deal reportedly worth $300 million.
Terms of 20th’s deal with Daniels, who co-created Fox’s Empire and Star, were not disclosed. Daniels also has a high profile film career, with credits including Precious and The Butler.
“Lee is not just an extraordinary writer and director, he’s a talent magnet who’s full of creative energy. He’s also one of the most entertaining and authentic voices we’ve ever encountered, said Fox Television Group CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman in a statement. “From Empire to Star , when you work with Lee on a project, you know you’re going to be spellbound not just by the idea, but also by how it’s filtered through his unique lens. He’s a creator with many more stories to tell and we’re grateful he’ll be telling them with us.”
Daniels is represented by CAA and attorney Jeanne Newman.
“I’ve loved the creative freedom Fox has afforded me over the last several years and proud of the work that we’ve collectively achieved as a result of it,” said Daniels.”I’m excited to continue my time at the studio and produce television that isn’t only personal to my own stories, but also find undiscovered, diverse, new voices to bring to the small screen.”
Fox has signed new deals with several other showrunners, including Vali Chandrasekaran, Abraham Higginbotham, Sanaa Hamri, Tim Minear, Kurt Sutter, Rich Appel and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel.