Lionsgate banks on Mac

MacMan shingle in with studio

Lionsgate has inked its first production pact — a deal with Bernie Mac and Steven Greener’s new shingle, MacMan Entertainment.

Initial project in the multiyear deal is Mac’s first concert pic since “The Original Kings of Comedy.” Also under the pact, Mac will host a minimum of four Dean Martin-style celebrity roasts that will go directly to DVD.

Per the terms of the deal, Lionsgate will get first dibs on any film project developed and produced by MacMan.

Lionsgate prexy of production Mike Paseornek said Mac is a “great crossover name” who plays to both the indie studio’s core urban aud, as well as to broader, middle America. Paseornek and Lionsgate prexy of acquistions and co-productions Peter Block jointly announced the deal.

Mac has just wrapped production on “Pride” for Lionsgate. Inspirational pic, based on the real-life story of a Philadelphia swim coach to troubled teens, bows Dec. 22. Terrence Howard stars as the coach.

“Lionsgate is the perfect place to hang our hats,” Mac said. “What’s more, Lionsgate is very well rounded in terms of the entertainment they develop, which gives us a lot of room to play with.”

After “Pride,” Mac next stars in “Ocean’s Thirteen” and “Transformers.”

Greener, a producer and manager, produced TV sitcom “The Bernie Mac Show” and comedy “Guess Who,” starring Mac and Ashton Kutcher. Formerly a partner at Industry Entertainment, Greener joined Handprint Entertainment this month.

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