'Final Destination,' 'American Pie' sequels on slate

Warren Zide and Craig Perry’s production and literary management shingle, Zide/Perry Entertainment, has signed a three-year, first-look deal with MGM, with plans to produce at least two features a year.

The arrangement dovetails with Zide/Perry’s current production deal with Helkon Media, with Helkon Intl. Pictures getting first look at foreign rights on all MGM-Zide/Perry productions.

MGM production prez Alex Gartner said that despite a downbeat economy, the studio moved to make the Zide/Perry deal based on the company’s track record as well as its ability to generate material and bring financing to the table.

“They have proven themselves as strong providers for the youth marketplace,” Gartner told Daily Variety. “Their business arrangement also allows them to be another potential supplier along the lines of Mosaic or Hyde Park, rather than a more traditional producers deal.”

Zide/Perry inked a four-picture, $50 million deal with Helkon in May that kicked off with the Frank Longo-helmed “Replikate.” That deal is expected to yield three additional titles budgeted between $10 million and $15 million.

MGM has its own ongoing relationship with Helkon via Chuck Roven’s Atlas Entertainment, which also is based at MGM. Atlas, which produced the Lion’s upcoming summer tentpole pic “Rollerball,” has a long-term co-production and co-financing arrangement with Helkon and Toho-Towa.

Management division Zide/Perry Management has launched the careers of numerous directors and screenwriters, including Chap Taylor (“Changing Lanes”) and Ben Ramsey (“The Big Hit”).

On the sked

Projects on the Zide/Perry slate include the New Line titles “Final Destination 2,” written by Eric Bress and Jon Gruber, and “Westward,” written by Tony Jaswinski, with Paul Hunter directing. Also on the slate is the Helkon comedy “Seven Women, No Sandwich,” written by Stuart Gibbs (“Replikate”). All are scheduled for production later this year.

Zide/Perry projects in development include MGM’s “Ain’t Nobody Like the One I Got,” with Licht/Mueller attached to produce with Zide/Perry, Sony’s “Providence,” written by Josh Schwartz, with Katja Von Garnier directing, and an untitled Chap Taylor script for Paramount Pictures.

$400 million globally

Producers of such hits as Universal Pictures’ “American Pie,” New Line’s “Final Destination” and Sony’s “The Big Hit,” Zide/Perry’s films have grossed more than $400 million worldwide. Zide/Perry previously put down studio roots at New Line Cinema, inking a one-year, first-look deal in June.

Zide and Perry are in production on “American Pie 2,” which is slated for release Aug. 10. The Helkon-financed Zide/Perry production “Replikate,” which stars Ali Larter, will be screened for domestic distributors within the next two weeks, and the Zide/Perry-produced CGI/live-action Warner Bros. Pictures laffer “Cats and Dogs” is slated for a July 4 release.

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