The Humor Mill

Hartbeat Inks Development Deal With Danielle Nicolet To Adapt ‘Black Karen’ Short Into Feature Film

Posted Mar 2, 2023

Hartbeat has closed a deal with Danielle Nicolet (CW’s The Flash) to write and executive produce the film “Black Karen.”  Black Karen follows the story of Karen Johnson, a black woman on the verge. Her work, home, and personal life are falling to pieces while she’s plagued by anxiety. After being convinced by her therapist the world is woke and the only one who hasn’t changed is her, Karen decides to improve her life by acting like a white woman would. It all goes great… until it doesn’t. When the private bank Karen works in is robbed, she realizes that the situation needs a hero.  However, her strength doesn’t come from acting like a white woman… it comes from embracing the beauty, and badassery, that is her blackness.

The film is based on the original short of the same name which was directed by Meagan Good (Amazon Prime Video’s Harlem) for Women Write Now –  Hartbeat’s comedic screenwriting fellowship in partnership with Sundance Institute which is designed to champion the next generation of Black women in comedy through mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition.  

Hartbeat’s Candice Wilson Cherry is attached to executive produce

Nicolet was among the inaugural 2021 class of fellows to go through the program, where she secured a first-look deal with Hartbeat.

The original Black Karen short can be currently seen on Peacock alongside the full collection of Women Write Now shorts, including Buddy and Bernice (Wilandrea Blair) and Take the Job (Moni Oyedepo) from WWN’s inaugural 2021 fellowship, as well as Night Off (Kiana Butler Jabangwe), Hey Boo (Danielle Solomon), and Power Dynamics (Mayanna Berrin) from WWN’s second series.  All three films from the 2022 class also made their debut during the 2023 Sundance Film Festival before heading to Peacock.

Nicolet is a series regular on CW’s The Flash, which is in its final season.  

Nicolet is represented by A3 Artists Agency, LINK Entertainment, Vault Entertainment and Goodman, Genow.

“We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with Danielle, developing Black Karen from an idea to a short created through the first Women Write Now fellowship in partnership with Sundance Institute, and now to a feature. With WWN, our goal was never to stop at mentorship. We are dedicated to creating career-changing opportunities for Black women writers that extend beyond the fellowship itself,” said WWN co-founder and Hartbeat CEO Thai Randolph.

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The Humor Mill Volume 7 Issue 1 March 2023

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