Amid the massive challenges facing Hollywood, the six major studios pared back slightly to 135 their number of producer deals, six fewer than a year ago.
There were a pair of notable additions — basketball superstar LeBron James at New Line, and veteran indie financier-producer Bill Block.
Though Block isn’t as famous as James, he’s racked up a formidable array of credits, including “Dirty Grandpa,” David Ayer’s “Fury,” Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9” and “Elysium” and Oliver Stone’s “W.” The first project under his new deal is Sam Raimi’s “World War 3.”
As part of the production deal, Block has closed a multimillion-dollar private development fund to acquire and develop projects with global distribution potential for packaging.
“It’s a privilege to be at Warner Bros., and it’s sort of a natural evolution for me, since my other films have gone out through the majors,” Block noted.
Sony has three fewer deals, with 26 overall, as pacts with Todd Garner, Simon Cowell and Dana Brunetti/Kevin Spacey’s Trigger Street went away. Paramount was the only studio to see a net gain in pacts over last year, going from 13 to 14, including a deal with Hasbro. Disney stayed stable, with 10.
Notable new deals included Ghost Corps at Sony with Dan Aykroyd and Ivan Reitman, “Fifty Shades of Grey” producer Michael De Luca at Universal and author John Green at Fox.
Among the notable deals at new players: Broad Green Pictures with “Straight Outta Compton” producer Matt Alvarez; and Bold Films pacts with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ben Stiller.
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