Joe Drake, Nathan Kahane head to Cannes with Good Universe
Former Lionsgate motion picture group president Joe Drake and former Mandate Pictures president Nathan Kahane are launching Good Universe as a full-service film financing, production and global sales company.
New company will kick off its slate in Cannes with films from Mandate’s development list, in which Good Universe and Lionsgate are partnered. The duo is also looking to acquire franchise material, and aims to expand the Ghost House Pictures brand with more funds and increase focus on the horror genre.
Drake will oversee Good Universe’s global sales operation with “Oldboy” and “Last Vegas” presented at Cannes. “Oldboy,” to be helmed by Spike Lee in September, is a remake of the South Korean film and will star Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley; “Last Vegas,” a laffer directed by Jon Turteltaub, features Michael Douglas.
Good Universe will work with Lionsgate to complete several Mandate films in production, including “Hope Springs,” starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell, to be released by Sony in August. Other projects include the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg comedy “The End of the World” and Ghost House Pictures’ remake of “Evil Dead.”
The launch of Good Universe comes six weeks after Lionsgate opened “Hunger Games,” which Drake shepherded as head of the studio’s film operations. In the wake of Lionsgate’s $412.5 million buyout of Summit, the company announced that Drake would depart once “Hunger Games” opened.
Drake and Kahane partnered in 2003 when they formed Mandate Pictures, which generated “Juno,” “Stranger Than Fiction” and the “Harold & Kumar” franchise. They also partnered in 2003 with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert on Ghost House Pictures and remain partners in the company. In 2007, the duo sold Mandate to Lionsgate and operated it as an autonomous brand.
Besides working on Mandate’s development slate with Lionsgate, Good Universe will also service titles in the Mandate library. Mandate is continuing as a label but is not expected to launch new feature development. Kahane’s post as Mandate prexy is expected to remain vacant.