Mark Canton’s life is one long string of ironies. After the Columbia/TriStar motion picture company chairman was ousted by his Japanese bosses, the success of movies put together under his purview — “Jerry Maguire,” “The Fifth Element,” sleeper hit “Anaconda,” TriStar Pictures’ “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (a Marco Platt/Stacey Snider project that came together under ousted TriStar president Bob Cooper) and now the gargantuan hit “Men in Black” — has pushed Sony to the top of the market share chart.
Of course, the town cringed when Canton paid Jim Carrey $20 million for the dark comedy “The Cable Guy” (which bombed) and winced when he dished out another $20 million for Tom Cruise to star in a comedy (“Jerry Maguire,” which hit big-time). Canton then one-upped himself when he slapped down yet another $20 million for Harrison Ford to star in “Air Force One” (yet to be released) after dishing out big bucks for Brad Pitt and Ford in the over-budget nightmare shoot “The Devil’s Own.”
After marketing himself on the success of the films at the Cannes Film Festival to try and garner financing for his own production company, word now comes that he and producer Jon Peters likely may team on a number of projects that could have Canton producing at Sony, sources said. Canton and his longtime friend Peters are in discussions to join together on some projects that would go through Peters’ deal at Columbia.