Branson shingle's first project will be 'Movie 43'
Virgin Produced has pacted with the cabler on a multiyear first-look development deal giving E! exclusive rights to all its reality series. Virgin Produced opened its doors in Los Angeles last year with the aim of developing and producing TV and film projects and, in the process, “break the corrosive mold of Old Hollywood by providing a collaborative environment that embraces talent,” according to the company’s PR boilerplate. Virgin Produced is headed by CEO Jason Felts and chief creative officer Justin Berfield, who co-starred for six years on the Fox sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle.” At their previous shingle, J2 Pictures/J2TV, Felts and Berfield co-produced and helped finance John Turturro’s pic “Romance and Cigarettes.” The first film under the new partnership is Peter Farrelly’s “Movie 43,” a sketch comedy project in the form of 17 shorts, which will feature thesps including Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler and Kate Winslet. “E! has a proven track record of pioneering great characters and new innovative formats in the unscripted space,” Felts and Berfield said in a statement. “At Virgin we are looking to produce programs that make some noise. Traditional is not in our vocabulary, so this combined with our brands and shared programming tastes make for a natural partnership.”