×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Miramax, Onion ink first-look deal

Articles to serve as 'departure points' for scripts

The Onion, the newspaper and Web site spiked with a satirical spin on current affairs that has found a devout fan base among media junkies, has inked a first-look deal with Miramax Films.

Created as a free paper 12 years ago by U. of Wisconsin undergraduates, the Onion now claims more than 1 million weekly readers.

It’s also a rapidly expanding franchise. Two Onion books have been published to date, including bestseller “Our Dumb Century,” and DreamWorks has optioned two articles, “10th Circle Added to Rapidly Growing Hell” and “Canadian Girlfriend Unsubstantiated.”

‘Departure points’

The Onion, which recently moved its editorial offices to New York, regularly serves up news stories under such headlines as “Auto Industry Agrees to Install Brakes on SUVs” and “Casual One-Nighter Gives Strom Thurmond Change of Heart on Gay Issue.” Residing somewhere between USA Today and World Weekly News, these articles will serve as “departure points” for scripts and features, said David Miner of 3 Arts Entertainment.

That would be in keeping with the DreamWorks adaptations of Onion material. “Canadian Girlfriend,” for instance, an article about a man whose girlfriend may or may not be imaginary, will be a high school pic scripted by former Onion writer and editor Rich Dahm and produced by Erwin Stoff and Miner at 3 Arts, with Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock’s Montecito Pictures. “Hell” will be an animated feature.

The Onion and 3 Arts will jointly produce any projects that derive from the Miramax deal. They will be overseen at Miramax by veep of creative affairs Jennifer Wachtell, who roped in the deal. Dimension director of development and production Jesse Berdinka will oversee the Dimension side of the deal.

“We’re proud to welcome the Onion to our city with this first-look deal,” Miramax co-chair Harvey Weinstein said in a statement Wednesday.

“The goal for this Miramax deal is to create movies that don’t suck,” Onion editor in chief Robert Siegel said.

Miramax exec veep of business and legal affairs Steve Hutensky and senior veep of business affairs and international operations Stuart Ford negotiated the deal for Miramax.

More Film

  • Village Rockstars

    Female Filmmakers Are a Growing Voice in India

    The Indian film industry has historically been a male-dominated one, but the winds of change are blowing across the country, albeit slowly. Better-served than the rest of the country is the Mumbai-based Hindi-language industry, where there are several active female filmmakers including Zoya Akhtar (“Gully Boy”), Reema Kagti (“Gold”), Leena Yadav (“Rajma Chawal”), Gauri Shinde [...]

  • Florence Pugh

    Scarlett Johansson's 'Black Widow' Movie Adds Florence Pugh

    “Black Widow’s” web may soon be growing. Sources tell Variety that Florence Pugh is in talks to join Scarlett Johansson’s standalone superhero film. Pugh has been on the hot list for this second lead role since last fall, but Marvel wanted to open up the field to other actresses at the beginning of the year. [...]

  • Mira Lesmana Sets up Indonesia Remake

    Mira Lesmana Sets Up Indonesian Remake of CJ's 'Sunny'

    Indonesia’s Miles Film and Korea’s CJ Entertainment are to co-produce an Indonesian remake of Korean hit “Sunny.” The film is a female-driven dramedy about a group of adult friends who reunite 20 years after high school. Directed by Kang Hyoung-chul, “Sunny” was one of the highest-grossing movies in Korea when it was released in 2011. [...]

  • John Hodges

    Jax Media Taps A24 Co-Founder John Hodges as Head of New Film Division

    TV production powerhouse Jax Media is expanding into film and tapped John Hodges, one of the founding partners of A24, as its new head of film. “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Jax,” Hodges said. “Theirs is a potent brand that I’ve admired for a long time, and their reputation as innovative partners [...]

  • Hong Kong's TVB Plans OTT Boost,

    Hong Kong's TVB Plans OTT Boost, Sets 'Court Lady' With Huanyu

    Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts is set to boost its OTT platforms locally and abroad with new packages and initiatives targeting the Southeast Asian market. The city’s biggest broadcaster has also renewed its partnership with China’s Huanyu Entertainment following the wild success the two enjoyed last year with court rivalry drama “Story of Yanxi Palace.” The [...]

  • Blue Planet II

    Documentaries Show Strong Signs of Growth in Global Markets

    Nearly 40% of exhibitors at FilMart this year are currently involved in documentary films. This year, there are 290 such exhibitors from 26 countries and regions, an increase of 30% from the year before, and 24 nonfiction titles in screening sessions, nearly double last year’s 13 titles. The market launched its “Doc World” section in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content