Thesp-filmmaker inks 1st-look pact with pic arms

Although he once played a character dubbed “Not Economically Viable Man,” actor-writer-director Vondie Curtis Hall and his Motor City Films production banner are proving the opposite, having struck a first-look deal with both Fox 2000 and Fox Searchlight Films.

Manager-producer Steven Siebert will join Hall at Motor City as Hall’s producing partner.

As part of the unique deal, Hall will write, direct and produce — with Motor City — projects for both 20th Century Fox film divisions. He is at work penning the first project of the deal, which he is expected to direct for Laura Ziskin’s Fox 2000.

Hall made his feature directing and screenwriting debut with this year’s Sundance Film Fest entry “Gridlock’d,” which starred Tupac Shakur and Tim Roth. Hall also played a featured role in the pic.

Dream deal

“It’s always been a dream of mine to start a company that would allow me the opportunity to make films that are both commercially viable and creatively rewarding,” Hall said. “I’m looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with both Fox 2000 and Fox Searchlight.”

The Juilliard-trained thesp’s ties to Fox include roles in such features as “William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet,” “Die Hard 2” and “Broken Arrow.” He also co-stars in Fox’s TV drama “Chicago Hope” for CBS.

His other acting credits include John Sayles’ “Passion Fish,” the role of Not Economically Viable Man in Joel Schumacher’s “Falling Down” and an Emmy-nominated turn as a suicidal drag queen in the NBC series “ER.”

Producing past

Siebert, a manager and producer with Lighthouse Entertainment, served as a co-producer on “Gridlock’d.” He also produced the 1990 film “The Rookie.”

Hall and Siebert were repped on the deal by David Gersh and Lorrie Bartlett of the Gersh Agency. Attorneys Carlos Goodman of Lichter, Grossman & Nichols and Geoffrey Oblath of Armstrong & Hirsch also repped Hall and Siebert, respectively.

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