Longtime MCA Inc. president Sidney Sheinberg, in the process of setting up his own production company, may make “Flipper” and “The Mummy” the first feature films released in connection with his new enterprise.
Sheinberg’s deal for the new venture is not yet in place, although sources said the pact’s completion is not far off. It is not yet clear when Sheinberg will segue to his new capacity as a supplier to Universal. He has promised MCA’s new owner and Seagram Co. CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. that he would stay on as president for as long as necessary.
Neither Bronfman nor Sheinberg have said how long Sheinberg might continue in his current capacity. Sheinberg’s contract expires at year’s end.
Sheinberg stressed that he is still doing “the same job I’ve done for a long time.” Sheinberg has been president of MCA since June 1973 and has been with the company for 36 years.
Sources said Sheinberg’s company may not be based on the lot. Sheinberg’s sons Jon and William are expected to join their father in his new company.
The elder Sheinberg and Jon, an agent at the William Morris Agency who reps “Flipper” writer and director Alan Shapiro, traveled to the “Flipper” set in Nassau, Bahamas, June 21 for a one-day visit.
Sheinberg’s involvement on the project has yet to be determined, although the trip was made in anticipation of a deal being concluded for his in-the-works company to be associated with the project.
“Flipper,” the feature version of NBC’s 1964-68 series about a friendly dolphin, is being planned for release next summer.
Sources said the family comedy and “The Mummy” are among several projects in which Sheinberg has expressed interest. “The Mummy,” which is in an advanced stage of development with Mick Garris attached to direct, is being produced by Sean Daniel and Jim Jacks’ U-based Alphaville.
Sheinberg’s involvement in “Flipper” is unusual because he comes aboard two weeks into principal photography.
Sources said Sheinberg has no intention of coming aboard as a producer, but that he or his company may take a presentation credit on projects.