Newell's team ankles Disney; joins Summit in London
CANNES — Mike Newell and Alan Greenspan’s Dogstar Films has moved its Hollywood home to Fox 2000 from Disney, and entered a separate first-look deal for its London office with Summit Entertainment.Dogstar in Los Angeles has signed a two-year housekeeping pact with Laura Ziskin’s Fox division. Newell and Greenspan originally launched Dogstar at Disney after the global success of “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” but have yet to produce anything for the studio. In the meantime, Newell has proved his credentials as a director of American movies with the critically acclaimed “Donnie Brasco” for Sony via Mandalay. Dogstar already has several new pics in development at Fox. It is also continuing to work on three existing projects at Disney, and one at Paramount. Under the new Fox 2000 deal, Dogstar has the automatic right to greenlight one $12 million project of its own choosing to be directed by Newell. Trigger another film Additionally, if Newell directs a big-budget pic for Fox, that will trigger another film — costing up to $6 million — which Newell would produce but not necessarily direct. The arrangement with Summit is a non-exclusive first-look deal for projects developed in London, with budgets up to $20 million. “The aim with the Summit deal is to enable Mike to continue to develop and possibly direct smaller British films, and to continue our role as executive producers to nurture new talent in Europe,” Greenspan told Daily Variety. Dogstar’s London office, effectively dormant for the past nine months, is now being revived. The company is planning to hire a new British managing director and a development exec, as well as promoting assistant Carolyn Drebin to a development capacity. It’s already partnered with Summit in a bid for a national lottery film production franchise in the U.K., alongside Granada Film, Parfitt Prods. and Newmarket Capital. In Los Angeles, Dogstar is promoting story editor Julie Valley to development exec. The Fox 2000 slate is headed by “Pushing Tin,” produced by Art Linson and written by brothers Glen and Les Charles, co-creators of “Cheers.” Newell is down to direct this black comedy about air traffic controllers.