Enjoying a greenlight on its first feature production with the Mafioso comedy “The Crew,” Sonnenfeld/Josephson Worldwide Entertainment has reshuffled its ranks with the exit of Caroline Andoscia and the promotion of Lisa Ellzey to run the company.
“The Crew,” helmed by Michael Dinner and penned by Barry Fanaro, will star Burt Reynolds and Richard Dreyfuss. Pic, budgeted at $25 million, is set to start lensing July 9 in Miami.
George Litto Pictures is financing 65% of the pic through foreign sales. Buena Vista Pictures, which is taking it as a negative pickup, is assuming 35% of the budget. BVP will take domestic and Canada, which will translate into either a Touchstone or Disney label.
Barry Sonnenfeld and Barry Josephson will produce. Litto is exec producing.
The pic is about four wiseguys in retirement who get back into Da Business to save their Miami Beach apartment complex from yuppies.
Pic marks the first film to make it into production for Sonnenfeld/Josephson, which had two TV series (“Maximum Bob,” “Fantasy Island”) to show for its first 18 months. The company has an overall film deal with Disney, but the TV deal is with Columbia TriStar.
Ellzey takes charge of Sonnenfeld/Josephson’s feature development and more than 25 projects. Though the company does not use titles, she effectively becomes prexy. She will continue working with L.A.-based junior exec Bill Melton and Gotham-based staffers Jason Anthony and Bill Eville.
In addition to bringing Litto Pictures into Sonnenfeld/Josephson to help finance “The Crew,” Ellzey is currently overseeing several projects on the fast track for Disney and Touchstone, including: “Killer,” an adaptation of the hit Polish comedy of the same name; “Tin Man,” a noir action thriller penned by Anthony Bagarozzi and produced with Shane Black; “The Assistants,” written by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage with Marlo Thomas exec producing; and an untitled Disney effects comedy scripted by Marc Hyman.
Ellzey came to the company in 1997 from Sony-based Red Wagon Prods. Before that, she worked at CAA on former agent Jay Moloney’s desk.
She also produced the indie pic “The Poison Tasters,” which preemed in Cannes in Un Certain Regard in 1995.
“Lisa has brought many great projects into the company as well as introducing us to several superb writers,” Josephson said.
Andoscia is ankling Sonnenfeld/Josephson to return to New York to be an indie producer with an eye toward the fashion industry.
“Both Barry and I are very pleased with the work that Caroline has done and we wish her well in New York,” Josephson said.
Andoscia has worked in Hollywood for nearly seven years for a number of producers, including Scott Rudin, Larry Gordon and Lynda Obst.
At Sonnenfeld/Josephson, she brought in such projects as “Enchanted,” by Bill Kelly, and “Chippendales,” adapted by Steven Schiff from Rodney Sheldon’s novel.
Before Hollywood, she was in fashion public relations in Gotham for KCD Fashion and her own Watson/Andoscia Co. from 1987-92.
“I’m going to New York because it’s home,” Andoscia said. “I’ll miss Barry and Barry. It was the best working experience I had in my seven years in Hollywood. And I trust we’ll be working together in the future.”
On “The Crew,” Dinner’s feature credits include “Heaven Help Us” and “Miss Lonely Hearts.” He also helmed episodes of TV’s “Chicago Hope” and the pilot for “Fantasy Island.”
Fanaro’s screenplay credits include “Kingpin.”
Litto has produced such pics as “Blow Out,” “Dressed to Kill” and “Obsession.” He also packaged “MASH,” “Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here,” “Hang ‘Em High” and “McCabe and Mrs. Miller.”
CAA’s Emanuel Nunez brokered the deal between Litto and Disney.