EXCLUSIVE: Ride Along director Tim Story has signed a two-year first-look deal with HBO to produce comedy, drama and longform projects for the pay cable network through his The Story Company banner. This marks a return to TV for Story, who directed the pilot for the Fox drama Standoff and served as an executive producer on the series. In features, Story is on a hot streak with back-to-back breakout comedies starring Kevin Hart, Think Like A Man and Ride Along, both of which scored at the boxoffice and earned sequels, also directed by Story. The first sequel, Think Like A Man Too, opens this weekend. In total, Story has directed four movies that have spawned franchises, including his studio debut, 2002′s Barbershop, which also got a TV series spinoff, and Fantastic Four, whose sequel he also directed. Story comes from music background as a member of a rap group. He started his filmmaking career directing music videos for top artists like ’N Sync and Tyrese. HBO has been beefing up its talent roster through first-look deals, including producing pacts with directors Darren Aronofsky and Michelle MacLaren, entrepreneur Russell Simmons and True Blood stars Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.
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