Sydney Pollack, the director who brought “Dirty Harry” to exec John Calley when he ran Warner Bros. more than 20 years ago, will be reunited with Calley in a new multiyear production deal linking his Mirage Enterprises with Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio confirmed Thursday.
Pollack, whose Mirage had been set up at Paramount, will produce, direct and even act for Sony in a variety of projects.
“We think he’s one of the premier filmmakers in the world,” said Calley, who is now president and chief operating officer of SPE. “We think he’s so multifaceted.”
The deal follows Sony’s recent announcement of another powerhouse production pact with Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich’s Centropolis.
The studio recently lost a big supplier for its distrib pipeline when Peter Guber’s Mandalay Entertainment moved to Paramount.
Pollack, on vacation until April 6, could not be reached for comment. But in a statement, fed through his agency CAA, he said: “John Calley has been a close friend, colleague and collaborator for many years and we’ve always enjoyed an excellent creative relationship. All of us at Mirage look forward to the move to our new home and to working with Lucy (Fisher, vice chair for Col TriStar), Gareth (Wigan, co-vice chair for Col TriStar), Amy (Pascal, prexy of Columbia) and the entire team at Sony.”
Pollack is already set to direct “Random Hearts” for Sony’s Columbia Pictures. The Harrison Ford starrer is due to lense this fall.
Digs on the lot
Pollack and Mirage will be located on the Sony lot in Culver City. While Pollack will not have a discretionary fund, it is expected that Calley and Pascal will OK virtually any development requests the Oscar-winning helmer makes. “He’s one of the best developers of material in town,” Pascal said. “He works extremely closely with writers, and that’s a good addition to what we’re doing at Sony.”
Calley has known Pollack for more than two decades, and remembers when Pollack brought WB “Dirty Harry,” a film that turned into a major franchise for the studio. “It was one of the things that he brought, but he didn’t want to do,” Calley said. “It was a very important piece of business for us.”
Pollack has directed such pics as “Tootsie,” “Absence of Malice,” “Havana,” “The Firm,” “Sabrina,” “Three Days of the Condor,” “The Way We Were,” “Jeremiah Johnson” and “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”
Nominated for several directing Oscars, Pollack won best picture and best director honors for 1985’s “Out of Africa.”
As an actor, he has appeared in such pics as “Husbands and Wives,” “The Player,” “Death Becomes Her,” “Tootsie” and the upcoming “Eyes Wide Shut.”
He is currently producing “For the Love of the Game” for Universal Pictures and Beacon Pictures.
CAA’s Bryan Lourd reps Pollack.