TODD BLACK is one of Hollywood’s most respected producers having worked with many of the top talent in the industry, both in front and behind the camera. With Director Antoine Fuqua, “The Equalizer 2” marks their fourth collaboration. The other three include “The Equalizer,” “Southpaw” and “The Magnificent Seven.”
Among Black’s numerous credits as a producer are “The Pursuit of Happyness,” (which earned Will Smith an Academy Award nomination as ‘Best Actor’), “The Taking of Pelham 123,” directed by Tony Scott, “Hope Springs,” starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, and “Sex Tape,” starring Cameron Diaz. Other noteworthy producing credits for Black include “Knowing” and “The Weather Man,” both starring Nicolas Cage, and “Seven Pounds,” starring Will Smith.
Black’s long-time collaboration with Denzel Washington began when he brought “Antwone Fisher,” the screenplay he developed for ten years, to the Academy Award®-winner. Washington decided not only would he star in the film, but he would also direct the touching drama, cementing their partnership as producer and director. When Washington stepped behind the camera to direct “The Great Debaters,” Black was again his producer. That movie went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination for ‘Best Drama.’ In addition, both “Antwone Fisher” and “The Great Debaters” earned the Producer Guild’s ‘Stanley Kramer Award.’
His most recent films with Denzel Washington include the critically acclaimed “Roman J. Israel, Esq,” which garnered Washington a ‘Best Actor’ Academy Award nomination for his performance in the title role, and “Fences,” Washington’s third time directing. “Fences” went on to win Screen Actor Guild Awards for both Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, as well as nabbing a ‘Best Actress’ win for Viola Davis at the Academy Awards, as well as a nomination for “Best Picture” for Black.
Action-blockbuster “Equalizer 2”, marks their most recent collaboration.
Black entered the business as a casting associate after attending USC’s School of Theater. Shortly after getting out of school, he produced a “Disney Sunday Night Movie” that aired on television. Black next went on to produce “Fire In The Sky” for Paramount Pictures and “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway” for Warner Bros.
In 1995, Black became President of Motion Picture Production at Mandalay Entertainment where he managed “Donnie Brasco,” “Seven Years In Tibet,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” and “Wild Things,” to name a few. A few years later, he teamed with producer Jason Blumenthal to create Black & Blu Productions.
In 2001, Black and Blumenthal joined Steve Tisch, producer of “Risky Business” and “Forest Gump,” among others, to form Escape Artists which has a first-look production deal with Sony Pictures. Their first film, which Black personally oversaw throughout the filmmaking process, was “A Knight’s Tale,” starring Heath Ledger.
Escape Artists has gone on to make movies that have grossed more than $1,000,000,000 at the worldwide box office. These films include mega hits “The Pursuit Of Happyness,” “The Equalizer,” “The Magnificent Seven” and “The Upside”.
Black’s film “Troop Zero”, a collaboration with Amazon Studios, starring Viola Davis, Allison Janney, McKenna Grace and Jim Gaffigan, which was released to glowing reviews. His next two films for Columbia Pictures are “The Man from Toronto”, which stars Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson, which has recently wrapped production, as well as “A Journal for Jordan”, based on the memoir of the same name, to be directed by Denzel Washington and star Michael B. Jordan and Chante Adams will be entering production in the coming weeks.
Just recently, Black and his company have jumped headfirst into the television space with two, extraordinarily received, series. The first, “Perpetual Grace, Ltd.”, which starred Sir Ben Kingsley and Jimmi Simpson, was a critical darling. “Servant”, a collaboration with famed auteur M. Night Shyamalan, debuted on Apple TV, and has already garnered huge viewership of Apple subscribers, as well as a pretty fervent following amongst its many fans.
His most recent film, an adaptation of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey”, a collaboration with Netflix, that stars Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, has been released to wide critical acclaim.