by Michael Harriot
When the comedy Little hits theaters this spring, aside from featuring some of the industry’s biggest stars, the film will also make history. For at least a few months, 14-year-old Marsai Martin will hold the title as the youngest executive producer of a major Hollywood motion picture in history.
Martin will co-star with Regina Hall in the singular role of Jordan Sanders, a take-no-prisoners tech entrepreneur who wakes up to discover that a random act of black girl magic has transformed her into the 13-year-old version of herself.
Aside from starring in the film and making everyone, including this writer, wonder what the hell we’ve been doing with our lives, Martin will also serve as the executive producer of the irreverent body-switch comedy. The Black-ish star had the idea for the film when she was 10 years old after falling in love with the Tom Hanks film, Big. She ended up pitching the idea to Black-ish Executive Producer Kenya Barris when she was only 10 years old.
“It was one of my most favorite films growing up,” Martin told The Root. “After the Season 1 finale of Black-ish, we told Kenya Barris about it, and he called Will [Packer] and said: ‘Yo, you know the girl who plays Diane on Black-ish? She has this dope idea!’”
Packer, the blockbuster producer of hits like Ride Along and Girls Trip, says he immediately bought the idea but was astounded at Martin’s maturity, noting that she pitched the idea to the studio.
While Marsai never mentioned the historical significance of her achievement during The Root interview, she did add that she is not only proud of the movie but also hopes it will inspire others.
“It doesn’t matter if you are four or 84, there’s no limit to what you can do,” Marsai told The Root. “And if you prove that you can do it, you don’t have to wait… A 13-year-old created this film and it turned out to be a wonderful, loving and fulfilling film.”
What is important is that there is a film coming out created by a black girl, starring black women, written by black women, directed by a black woman, and it was all the idea of a black girl.