From a very young age, Marsai Martin told us she was going to be a legend. And after what seems like just a few years in the industry, sis is well on her way. She became the youngest person to executive produce a feature film, 2019’s Little. She is a nine time NAACP Image Award winner and in 2019, Time recognized her on their Time 100 Next list.
She’s going places.
And according to Deadline, her next project will only cement her role in Hollywood.
The Disney Channel has just ordered a pilot for a new show called “Saturdays” about a young Black girl in a competitive roller skating group.
The pilot is being produced through Martin’s Genius Entertainment company. Norman Vance Jr., known for Roll Bounce and “Girlfriends” will write and produce. Charles Stone III from Drumline and “black-ish” will direct.
The main character Paris Johnson, played by actress Danielle Jalade is a 13-year-old who has been roller skating most of her life at the local skating rink owned by a former back ground dancer from the ‘90’s.
Paris is the leader of the crew but her sickle cell disease flare ups keep her from competing in the way she would like.
Other cast members include Omar Gooding, Golden Brooks, who will play Paris’ parents, and Yolanda “Yo-Yo” Whitaker is the roller rink owner Duchess.
Paris’ friends and fellow skaters will be portrayed by Daria Johns (Nappily Ever After) and newcomer Samantha Smith.
Online people have been celebrating both Marsai and the project for its inclusion of darker skinned girls in the lead and secondary roles and the inclusion of a character living with sickle cell.
As often as we’ve seen darker skinned actors, particularly darker skinned women overlooked for roles that even called for dark skin, we’re happy to see this representation in a television for children, the most impressionable among us.
And Lord knows the handful of disabled characters in television and film have often been white boys or men.
Rafael Garcia, vice president, Development, Disney Branded Television, said, “When we met with Marsai about this project, we couldn’t have been more impressed with her passion for diverse storytelling and commitment to female empowerment. We’re extremely excited to team up with Norman and the Genius Entertainment team to tap into roller-skating culture in a way that’s truly both authentic and aspirational for our audience.”
Here for it.
As usual, congrats to Marsai. We can’t wait to see this and the other projects she has up her sleeve.