Kevin Hart has built a reputation for being one of the hardest-working guys in Hollywood. He seemingly has his hands in just about everything, from stand-up comedy to multi-million-dollar film franchises to digital content. He’s been scoring deals left and right in recent years, but Hart's latest could put him one step closer to his billionaire dreams. It's a major career move for the Borderlands actor and could guarantee that we’ll be seeing more of his TV shows and movies for years to come.
The Fatherhood actor has opted to combine his film and TV production company Hartbeat Productions and digital comedy outlet Laugh Out Loud into a single entity: Hartbeat. According to Variety, the merger came courtesy of the equity firm Abry Partners investing $100 million in the newly company as a minority stakeholder. The multihyphenate expressed excitement for this new business venture and, in a statement, he recalled the journey both companies went through to get to this point:
Kevin Hart appears set on developing, creating, and sharing new content from established and fresh voices. So this deal represents more than just a slate of new shows and films featuring the comedian. He wants to share the wealth with others as well. You have to love that he's seeking to give his fanbase more of what they love all while building a new ecosystem in the entertainment industry.
The production banner will operate as two divisions following the surprise merger. The newly formed Hartbeat Studios will focus on film and television production, while Hartbeat Media will specialize in digital content, gaming, music, and events.
With this, some familiar faces from both companies assume new positions. LOL president Thai Randolph will now be the CEO. Hartbeat’s TV and film president Bryan Smiley will become president and chief content officer of the Studios branch, while LOL’s Jeff Clanagan will become president and chief distribution officer of the Media brand. Also, Hartbeat co-founder Leland Wigington will get an overall production deal under the new structure.
The merger reportedly won’t affect any other deals the comedian has in place. NBCUniversal will keep its minority stake after investing in LOL in 2020. Audiences reaped the benefits of that deal through Kevin Hart’s hilarious Olympics coverage with Snoop Dogg and his interview talk show on Peacock. Of course, Hart also has a deal with streaming giant Netflix, which has yielded projects like Fatherhood and the miniseries True Story.
It's been great to see how Kevin Hart continues to solidify himself as a true force within the media landscape. Along with the previously mentioned projects, the Ride Along actor’s beloved satire series, The Real Husbands of Hollywood, was revived for streaming platform BET+. But his 2022 is bound to be even busier, as he has multiple projects coming out, including DC League of Super-Pets and his action-comedy The Man from Toronto, which is headed to Netflix. So with his new deal and Hart's list of already-set upcoming movies, I'd say he's definitely not going anywhere anytime soon.
A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).
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