Mike Medavoy’s Phoenix Pictures may be preparing to wind down, but its projects are heating up.
This quixotic state of affairs isn’t as strange as it might seem: It’s an open secret that come September, when Phoenix’s deal at Sony comes to a close, the company will cease to operate as a fully financed production company.
Rather than receive backing from the likes of Sony and Canal Plus (which now is committed to a somewhat larger operation, Vivendi Universal), Medavoy will become — for now — an independent producer.
And from the looks of things, he’s off to a great start.
“Basic,” a military thriller that struggled to get on its feet at Col, now is set up at Intermedia Films, with John McTiernan in negotiations to direct.
Medavoy also has set up “Holes,” an adaptation of Louis Sachar’s critically acclaimed juvenile novel, which will be financed by Philip Anschutz’s Walden Media. That’s something of an achievement. While many producers would love to hook up with the well-capitalized Anschutz, he’s only interested in education-oriented projects free of gratuitous sex and violence.
Phoenix also has set up the period spy thriller “Shanghai” at Miramax.