Cameron Crowe, who wrote, produced and directed TriStar Pictures’ $150 million-plus box office hit “Jerry Maguire,” has signed a three-year, first-look deal with DreamWorks. The deal comes after several studios scrambled to sign an agreement with Crowe, including Sony Pictures Entertainment, which distributed “Jerry Maguire.” Sources said DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg was instrumental in luring Crowe to the company. The deal was agreed upon Tuesday night.
“These are people I’ve wanted to work with for a long time and have come close to working with before,” Crowe said. “Walter (Parkes), Laurie (MacDonald) and I actually worked together on a rewrite of a script called ‘Living Legends’ in 1989. (Jeffrey) Katzenberg and I have been talking about getting together since I was writing ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High.’ (David) Geffen I met when I was 16, when I was working at Rolling Stone and interviewing his bands. And Spielberg, well, he has long been an inspiration for me.”
Parkes and MacDonald also worked on the development of “Singles,” which the filmmaker wrote, directed and produced in 1992.
Crowe, who also wrote and directed the romancer “Say Anything,” joins a growing list of filmmakers who have set up shop at DreamWorks, including producer Mark Johnson, Scott Hicks, Mimi Leder and Stan Winston. With Crowe on board, two of this year’s DGA nominees are now under the wing of DreamWorks. “Everyone says DreamWorks is an exciting place, and when I got there, it was. It seemed like a great place to begin a new phase in my life,” Crowe said. “The hard thing, of course, was that I had a great experience at Sony, so it wasn’t easy to pull up stakes.”
Said DreamWorks feature film division co-head Parkes late Wednesday: “Cameron Crowe is a one-man argument against the charge that Hollywood is unable to produce personal films that find an audience. All of us at DreamWorks are proud to be able to support Cameron as he finds new ways to express his singular vision.”
Crowe is currently writing a project that he will direct for DreamWorks, but he is keeping the storyline under wraps.
“From Jim Brooks and Gracie Films I learned that everything comes from character, from top to bottom,” Crowe said. “As I create the characters for the next film, I will remember those hilarious moments of truth are everything you work for … and the rest is process, process, process. ”
The filmmaker’s deal was negotiated by Crowe’s reps, CAA’s Robert Bookman and attorneys Bruce Ramer and Larry Rose.