She’s what Sony wants

Meyers opens shingle under new pact

NEW YORK — After scoring a decisive hit with “What Women Want,” writer-director Nancy Meyers has what she wants: a lucrative overall deal at Sony Pictures Entertainment that will start with her next picture — an untitled comedy that she has just begun scripting and will direct next year.

Meyers will open an office on the lot and hire staff, with an eye toward writing, directing and producing more films there. Her company has not yet been named. Columbia Pictures chairman Amy Pascal brought her into the studio fold.

Meyers said her new film was bought by SPE on the basis of a pitch she personally delivered to Pascal and John Calley.

“It is a multicharacter, multigenerational piece about falling in love,” she said. “It’s about being with people others think are too old for you or too young for you, and it’s about what feels right for you.” There’s a touch of the personal in the comedy, after Meyers and former partner Charles Shyer ended their long marriage and film partnership. “Everything you write comes somehow from your personal experiences, and this includes a lot of what I’ve seen since Charles and I have been apart,” she said.

Meyers and Shyer hatched hit films ranging from “Private Benjamin” to “Father of the Bride,” “Baby Boom” and “The Parent Trap,” the latter of which marked her directorial debut. That film caught the eye of Mel Gibson, and Meyers was hired to direct him in his first broad comedic effort, the Icon/Paramount comedy “What Women Want.” The film grossed $380 million worldwide, which led to multiple studios vying for Meyers’ next picture.

“I had been talking to Amy about working together for a long time,” said Meyers. “I brought the idea to Amy and John and things happened quickly. I like them, I like that they finance their own movies. It seemed a good fit.”

Sony has weeded out many of its overall deals and has been selective about making new ones. Meyers’ deal was made by ICM.

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