Warners to Furthur shingle’s ambitions

Douglas' company previously based at Universal

This article was corrected on Feb. 27, 2003.

Michael Douglas’ production shingle Furthur Films has signed a two-year first-look production deal at Warner Bros.

Company will continue to maintain offices in L.A. and New York under production prexy Marcy Drogin, based on the East Coast; Lisa Bellomo, senior VP of production and head of the West Coast office; and N.Y.-based director of development James Lavigne.

Shingle had been based at Universal, where it inked a three-year first-look deal in 1998; it also had a second-look deal at now-defunct October Films that ended a year ago.

Deal is latest in a number of recent overall producing pacts inked by Warners under prexy-chief operating officer Alan Horn and prexy of production Jeff Robinov in the past year, including a three-year first-look deal with Baltimore-Spring Creek, Industry Entertainment, Chris Columbus’ 1492, Robert Redford’s Wildwood Enterprises and Brad Pitt, Brad Grey and Jennifer Aniston.

Furthur is co-producing WB-based Franchise Pictures’ comedy “The In-Laws” with Gerber Pictures and MHF Erste Academy Film Prods. Pic, which stars Douglas and Albert Brooks, was helmed by Andrew Fleming and will be released May 23 by WB.

“We have had a long and extremely productive relationship with Michael Douglas, who has starred in ‘Falling Down,’ ‘Disclosure’ and ‘A Perfect Murder’ here at Warner Bros., and who starred in ‘An American President’ for Castle Rock,” Robinov said. “It’s a pleasure to now be working with Michael and his team at Furthur Films to acquire, develop and produce a wide variety of movies over the years to come.”

Though it has yet to be decided which pic will be first under the new deal, Furthur is developing the romantic comedy “As Told to. . .” at WB. Pic will star Douglas as a successful professional basketball coach who battles and falls in love with the ghostwriter hired to help him with his autobiography. Andrea King penned the screenplay, and Tom Teicholz is attached to produce. Marc Klein (“Serendipity”) is scripting a new draft of pic, on which basketball coach Pat Riley will serve as exec producer and consultant. Pic is being overseen at studio by WB Pictures’ VP of production Courtenay Valenti.

Douglas, an Oscar-winning producer, commented, “It is a compliment in these tough times, and I thank both Alan Horn and Jeff Robinov for their support in giving our company the chance to continue to make the quality-type of pictures I have always tried to produce throughout my career.”

Aside from WB, Furthur is developing the political thriller “The Sentinel” at Paramount, with the WMA-repped Douglas to star for director Barry Levinson and screenwriter George Nolfi.

Other projects include a remake of “The Mechanic,” which Furthur will co-produce with Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, penned by Shane Salerno, and an adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s bestselling novel “A Man in Full,” for HBO, which Pulitzer Prize-winning scribe Donald Margulies (“Dinner With Friends”) is penning.

Shingle’s comedy-drama “It Runs in the Family” will be released domestically April 25 by MGM and overseas by Buena Vista Intl.

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