By Erin Caine

Lifestyle Editor

Though an upcoming comedy film called “Little” will be Marsai Martin’s first foray into the world of producing, the Hollywood career ahead of her promises to be huge.

Starring Regina Hall and Issa Rae, “Little” is about a “ruthless tech mogul” (Hall) who gets magically turned into her younger self (Martin) in order to learn some valuable lessons. It’s set for an April theatrical release

When production for the film started last year, Martin—just 13 years old at the time—became the youngest executive producer ever.

Not to mention, she was the one who initially pitched the idea for “Little” back in 2014 to Kenya Barris, creator of the Emmy-nominated ABC show “Black-ish.” She was struck with inspiration after watching the 1988 Tom Hanks movie “Big.”

“Black-ish” was Martin’s big break as a young actress. She plays Diane, the smart and saucy youngest daughter of the Johnson family, a role for which she’s been given heaps of praise, including two NAACP Image Awards.

And now, just four years after landing her first major acting role, she’s managed to get farther in the industry than anyone thought possible.

In a Tweet about the upcoming film, Martin said, “When the world tells you your dream is too big, you search for the folks that can see your vision.”

The screenwriter for the film, Tracy Oliver, replying to the Tweet with an anecdote about doing a “joint pitch with a then 11-year-old” for Universal Pictures, added, “[Martin is] so young, but so confident! Proud of you, girl.”

It’s clear that this is a pretty unusual and exciting moment for Hollywood. Julia Sarantis of Kulture Hub observed that “Little” is a film “created by a black girl, starring black women, directed by a black woman [Tina Gordon], and written by black women [Oliver, Gordon].”

Recently, it was announced that Martin has a first-look deal with Universal for another film, “StepMonster,” which will be developed by Martin’s own company, Genius Productions.

The film is a comedy that will star Martin as a teenage girl trying to adjust to life with her new stepmother.

Universal’s president, Peter Cramer, called Martin a “star on the rise,” and said, “She is not only tremendously talented in front of the camera, but offers a unique perspective as a creator and producer that will resonate with all audiences.”

With the accomplishments she has under her belt already at such a young age, “star on the rise” might be an understatement.

The Elm

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