Former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell is understood to be in talks to work for Sony’s newly revived TriStar Pictures label out of a yet-to-be-opened New York City office.
Also in discussion is for Red Om Prods. partner Deborah Schindler to leave the shingle and work as a production development executive for Columbia Pictures, also based in New York.
Presumably Mitchell and Schindler would work out of the same Sony office.
“There are a lot of rumors about Elvis,” said Sony spokesman Steve Elzer. “I prefer the ones where he is alive and still living at Graceland.”
Mitchell left the Times in April, when A.O. Scott was made lead film critic, a title that had long been vacant at the Gray Lady.
Since then Mitchell — a staple at entertainment and industry events who also has a teaching gig at Harvard — has been job-hunting at studios. Fox was also a contender.
Sony is an unsurprising match. Less than a year ago, Sony execs met with Mitchell to discuss bringing the film critic onboard, and Mitchell and chairman of the SPE Motion Picture Group Amy Pascal are pals. (Pascal is married to Mitchell’s former colleague, New York Times entertainment reporter Bernard Weinraub.)
Mitchell does have some industry chops. In the early 1990s, he did a brief stint as Par’s director of development.
Mitchell’s main responsibility at TriStar — which was recently resurrected as a genre acquisitions and marketing banner — will be acquiring films through festivals and other markets.
Schindler’s primary duties would be to bring in scripts for Col and work with Gotham’s literary and theater communities on possible film adaptations.
Schindler’s move has been on the burner for months, and it may not happen as swiftly as Mitchell’s due to producing engagements Schindler is wrapped up in.
Both Mitchell and Schindler declined to comment.