Shingle's associates part ways due to different interests

Jersey Films will disband when its deal with Universal Pictures expires at the end of 2003.

Partners Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher will no longer work with each other on an exclusive basis when the pact is up, and it is unclear whether any of them will carry on the Jersey banner beyond preexisting projects.

Formed 12 years ago, Jersey has a reputation for making indie-minded eclectic films, including “Erin Brockovich,” “Get Shorty,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Out of Sight,” “Reality Bites,” “Man on the Moon,” “Gattaca,” “Man on the Moon,” “Living Out Loud” and the DeVito-directed “Matilda” and “Hoffa.”

DeVito formed the company with Shamberg in 1991, when the latter was the producer of such films as “A Fish Called Wanda” and “The Big Chill.” Sher joined shortly thereafter from Lynda Obst Prods., where she was associate producer on “The Fisher King.” She was made full partner several years later.

Jersey began with a deal at TriStar, which didn’t embrace the kind of films the Jersey partners wanted to make. That studio passed on “Pulp Fiction,” for example, which was made at Miramax for $7.5 million, and “Get Shorty,” which was a hit at MGM.

The trio moved to Universal and later formed specialty division Jersey Shore, whose releases include “Ghost World,” “Super Troopers,” “Caveman’s Valentine” and “Drowning Mona.”

A spokesman for Jersey confirmed the partners will go their separate ways but said that they will continue to work together on all Jersey projects in development at U. They are currently in production on a still-untitled comedy directed by John Hamburg and starring Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Debra Messing. The split does not impact Jersey Television, which Jersey partner John Landgraf will contine to run. Currently in a deal at Sony, Jersey has two pilot commitments for the upcoming season.

The split is a surprise, since there was no hint of feuding, restlessness or acrimony among the partners. Sources said they get along fine, but after 12 years, the principals found their interests going in different directions.

DeVito, for example, just directed the Ben Stiller-Drew Barrymore Miramax comedy “Duplex,” which was not a Jersey entry. Nor was his previous directorial venture, “Death to Smoochy.”

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