Large changes are afoot at Larger Than Life, which has reupped with Universal for three years.
The renewal of Larger Than Life’s studio deal comes as partner Jane Sindell is ankling to be an independent producer, while Leslie Urdang, a producer at Wildwood/Southfork, is coming aboard as a producer.
Sindell and Gary Ross said the split was amicable, and the duo, who’ve worked together for nearly two decades (Sindell used to be Ross’ agent) will continue to produce in tandem.
“We’ve had such a long and productive relationship that we’ll be producing together for a long time,” said Sindell.
Larger Than Life has had a first look deal with Universal since 1998. Though the studio has not yet greenlit a Larger Than Life project, the shingle has several projects set up there, among them “Seabiscuit,” based on the bestselling book by Laura Hillenbrand; action comedy “Chaos Theory”; and “Bye Bye Brooklyn,” a pic the shingle is producing with U-based producer Marc Platt.
Sindell and Ross will be working together on all three projects, and Ross plans to direct “Seabiscuit.”
Urdang will be stepping into a role very similar to Sindell’s. Urdang, who has a background in theater and film production, will be drawing on what she terms her strong relationships with writers in running the company with Ross and producing films.
Mary Parent, president, production of Universal Pictures, said, “Gary Ross is one of the most ingeniously talented storytellers working in films today, and we’re very happy to have him continue being part of the Universal family.”
Urdang, who attended the U. of Pennsylvania with Ross and Platt, founded Stage and Film, a theater company that runs a summer program at Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater. Before joining Wildwood, she was an independent producer with a deal at Fox 2000, where she produced “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” She is also producing the Jon Robin Baitz-scripted pic “People I Know,” starring Al Pacino.
Ross’ wife, Allison Thomas, is remaining with Larger Than Life as a producer.