Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy–Steven Spielberg’s founding partners in Amblin Entertainment–have struck a deal to develop and produce films for Paramount Pictures.
The pact with the high-profile team is seen as a further sign that Paramount Pictures is aggressively building its stable of filmmakers in the wake of Sherry Lansing’s recent appointment as chairman of the Motion Picture Group.
Under terms of the non-exclusive, three-year agreement — hammered out by Marshall and Kennedy’s CAA agent Jay Moloney and their attorney Alan Hergott–the duo will give the studio first look at all their producing projects. The new pact does not cover Marshall’s services as a director.
Their production company will be based at Paramount’s Hollywood lot, while production veep Donna Gigliotti will remain in New York.
“We’re really looking forward to working at Paramount in the years ahead,” Marshall said yesterday. “We’re anxious to have our own company in a situation where we can work together and do different kinds of things that we’ve been talking about doing for several years now.”
“We were looking for a home that offered us the most opportunities and right now Paramount did,” added Kennedy.
“Frank and Kathy bring to Paramount a vast network of important talent relationships, unparalleled filmmaking experience and a natural instinct for quality commercial pictures,” said John Goldwyn, Paramount’s production president.
Asked if it was Par’s present management team that swayed them, Kennedy said, “We like the management team of just about every studio in town we talked to. We’ve been in a unique position over the years to work with virtually everyone in town and we have very good relationships with everyone and that made this decision extremely difficult for us.” Marshall and Kennedy’s company is not bringing any projects to Paramount. “We’re starting fresh,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said the first order of business for the duo will be to “lay out the projects that we would like to pursue now and evaluate what we can get under way right away.”
“We have lots of ideas,” Marshall added. “We’ve seen lots of scripts, books that we want to now pursue.”
Marshall, Kennedy and Spielberg founded Amblin Entertainment in 1981. Their credits include “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial,””Back to the Future,””Who Framed Roger Rabbit,””Cape Fear,””Hook” and “Arachnophobia,” which Marshall directed.
Marshall, who left Amblin in 1991, recently directed “Alive,” a joint production of Paramount and Touchstone, scheduled for release in February 1993.
Kennedy is producing Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” and Touchstone’s “Far Off Place.” She has been closely involved with all of Amblin’s TV projects.