Trilogy Entertainment and Spelling Films have inked a three-year production deal, beefing up the Spelling Group subsid’s film arm with the team responsible for Universal’s “Backdraft,” MGM’s “Blown Away” and the Kevin Costner starrer “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”
Trilogy’s writer, director and producer threesome of Pen Densham, Richard Lewis and John Watson will be producing films for Spelling in the high-budget range, as well as in the mid-and low-budget categories.
“We are looking to them to become a major supplier of films to the Spelling group, ” Spelling Films president Mitch Horwits said, noting that the deal with Trilogy is the only overall deal the company has yet signed.
Densham, writer and director of the upcoming “Moll Flanders” for MGM/UA, told Variety: “We have a flexible and quick decision-making process that gives us autonomy over the movie once the decision is made.”
Horwits comments, “We are relying on their expertise and their track record as very successful filmmakers.”
Horwits says no titles have been designated yet.
Spelling, which took overseas rights to “Moll Flanders, ” will bring all financing to projects, but the door is open to producing with MGM, which is distribbing “Moll” domestically, as well as with other partners, Horwits said.
“We have a terrific relationship with MGM/UA,” Densham said of the studio where Trilogy’s first-look deal expired last month. MGM/UA and Trilogy produced “Tank Girl, ” a box office disappointment.
UA and Trilogy are teamed with U.K.-based Majestic on “Larger Than Life, ” the Bill Murray vehicle slated for release next summer. Densham said Trilogy is in talks with Majestic to discuss the future of joint projects announced in Cannes last spring.
Company topper Aaron Spelling took a personal interest in signing up Trilogy.
Instrumental in engineering the deal were Spelling Group exec VP Peter Bachmann and Kathy Holberg at Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca & Fischer, with Melanie Cook of Bloom, Dekom, Hergot & Cook and Steve Kotlowitz and David Wirtschafter of ICM acting for Trilogy.