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Bedford Falls cut first-look with 2929

Zwick, Herskovitz's co. ink with Wagner/Cuban

Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz’s Bedford Falls banner has cut a first-look deal with Wagner/Cuban Co.’s 2929 Prods.

Wagner/Cuban principal Todd Wagner said he built a relationship with Zwick and Herskovitz through work they’ve done for the American Film Institute and decided a formal relationship would help 2929’s growth as a production company.

It’s the second deal for 2929; company earlier forged an agreement with Nick Wechsler, who made “We Own the Night” and the upcoming John Hillcoat-directed “The Road” with 2929 Prods.

Bedford Falls’ first-look pact with Warner Bros. ended last year.

“At face value, the studios are closing down first-look deals and making fewer movies, and they are not buying material,” Wagner said. “That’s exactly the time for someone like us to come in and position ourselves to acquire quality projects and be patient during a very difficult transition time. We’re fortunate to have the diversification in Landmark Theaters, Magnolia Pictures and HDNet, all of which are doing well. The production side will benefit from having these smart, well-respected guys who know what they’re doing.”

In addition to bringing properties, Zwick and Herskovitz will help shape projects in 2929’s inventory.

“That is not a role the studios ever ask you to play, but it came out of our conversations with Todd. We are happy to help,” Herskovitz said. “We have several projects we’re getting ready to bring to them, and they have several they want us to look at.”

Herskovitz, who is also Producers Guild of America president, said Bedford Falls has done fine without a studio deal — Zwick is directing “Love and Other Drugs” for Fox 2000 and New Regency — but having a home gives the shingle a real boost.

“There are fewer and fewer deals to be found, but they still exist, and we feel lucky to have made this connection with Todd and Mark Cuban,” he said. “In my opinion as a producer and president of the guild, it’s a short-sighted mindset that investing in development of material isn’t worth it. Good movies get made because someone is obsessed with getting them made, and obsessive pushing is what good producers do.”

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