'Speed,' 'Arrow' producer close to inking deal sans Mutual
This article was corrected on Oct. 11, 2001.
NEW YORK — Mark Gordon is closing an overall producing deal at Fox. The non-exclusive first-look pact will be the first alliance Gordon has made since he and partner Gary Levinsohn dissolved their partnership in Mutual Films.
Gordon had been a Fox-based producer before he left to team with Levinsohn on the formation of Paramount-based Mutual Films, an entity that is getting up and running again with former senior Par exec Don Granger. At Fox, Gordon developed and produced “Speed,” the sleeper hit that launched Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock as stars and was one of the biggest hits in Fox history. Gordon followed that with the John Woo-directed actioner “Broken Arrow.”
The Mark Gordon Company will be run by Betsy Beers, who had been president of production at Mutual and prior to that president of Mike Newell’s Dogstar banner.
Gordon’s Fox deal is still crystallizing, but it is understood that, as was the case with Mutual, he will secure an outside financing component. Gordon will be working with 20th prexy Hutch Parker, Fox Searchlight prexy Peter Rice and Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler.
The five-year run of Gordon and Levinsohn’s Mutual yielded the hit “Saving Private Ryan,” which they developed at Paramount and on which they took producer credit. Along with Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, Gordon and Levinsohn produced the Mel Gibson starrer “The Patriot.” Mutual was an active financier of such films as “Tomb Raider,” “A Simple Plan,” “Wonder Boys” and “The Jackal.”
Gordon will continue to be involved in numerous Mutual projects still in the development stage, and he’s already negotiating a few projects that will get him off the ground at Fox.
Gordon will also continue on several outside projects, including producing a Warner Bros. adaptation of “In Harm’s Way,” the story of the USS Indianapolis that Barry Levinson is rewriting to direct. Gordon is producing that drama with Paula Weinstein and Beers.