In a move that establishes some brotherhood at Columbia Pictures, C.Z. Wick has inked a first-look production deal with Colpix to develop and deliver action movies to the studio, sources said Monday.
Under terms of the deal, the 41-year-old Wick will work with his younger brother Doug Wick’s Red Wagon Prods., which has an exclusive long-term deal with Colpix that runs through 1995.
The deal with C.Z. Wick signals Columbia’s increased effort to develop action properties for the studio. Since taking the reins of Columbia in 1991, Colpix chairman Mark Canton has attempted to produce original properties along the lines of “Terminator,” but so far the Jean-Claude Van Damme starrer “Nowhere to Run,” the Bruce Willis starrer “Striking Distance” and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Last Action Hero” have fallen short of the mark.
A former speech writer for the Democratic National Committee, C.Z. Wick traded politics for Hollywood in 1978. He worked in various development and production capacities during a seven-year stint at ABC before becoming president of Michael Douglas Television in 1986.
Key to Columbia’s interest in the producer’s pact was reportedly Wick’s previous work on television actioners. Wick was one of the top executives responsible for developing action series for ABC, and turned around such shows as “Blue Thunder” and “Wild Side” on short, pressurized television deadlines.
At Michael Douglas Television, Wick worked on the development of the miniseries “Conquistador.” And in a brief stint with London-based Knightsbridge Intl. Television, Wick teamed with producer Dodi Fayed on a proposed television biography about Congo explorers Sir Henry Morton Stanley and Dr. David Livingstone.
Wick’s brother gives him added weight in his movie bid. Doug Wick’s Red Wagon is one of the most powerful production companies on the Columbia lot, having just completed work on Columbia’s big-budget Jack Nicholson/Michelle Pfeiffer starrer “Wolf,” directed by Mike Nichols.
Currently, C.Z. Wick is the screenwriter and producer of the independent movie project “Worth Fighting For,” which was initiated before the Columbia deal and falls outside of the producing package. The $ 1.5 million to $ 1.8 million movie about the life of a Green Beret after Desert Storm has “Bloodfist” director and “The Howling” co-writer Terry Winkless attached.
In consideration of the Columbia deal, it is likely Wick will give Columbia TriStar Home Video the first crack at homevideo rights to “Worth Fighting For.”
On the television side, Wick is currently attempting to set up the movie series “Travels of a Gunfighter,” which is about the worldwide travels of an Old West gunslinger. Wick has created an accompanying videogame for the property.