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Dustin, Dis pack Punch

Deal carries an 18-month term with option to renew

The Walt Disney Studios has signed a first-look production deal with Dustin Hoffman’s Punch Prods.

Deal, which carries an initial 18-month term with the option to renew for an additional 18 months, comes on the heels of Hoffman’s latest collaboration with the Mouse House: Touchstone Pictures’ upcoming “Goodbye, Hello” (aka “Babies in Black”), directed by Brad Silberling and produced by Punch. Hoffman stars in the pic alongside Susan Sarandon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Holly Hunter and newcomer Ellen Pompeo.

“We’re very excited to release ‘Goodbye, Hello,’ our first production with Dustin and Punch, and are looking forward to working on more projects with them in the future,” said Nina Jacobson, prexy of the Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group.

“Working with Disney on ‘Baby’s in Black’ was a great experience,” said Hoffman. “Their input and respect for the director, Brad Silberling, was invaluable.”

Punch and Disney are also teaming on Hyde Park Entertainment’s “Personal Injuries,” based on the Scott Turow novel, which will mark Hoffman’s directorial debut.

Disney and Hyde Park Entertainment, which has a second-look deal at the studio, will distribute pic produced by Hoffman and Punch’s Lee Gottsegen and Jenna Hoffman. Hyde Park’s David Hoberman and Ashok Amritraj will exec produce.

Making a ‘Case’

Punch is also developing “Head Case” for New Line Cinema as a starring vehicle for Hoffman; script was penned by David Wieger. Other projects include “The Casanovas,” which Punch is producing with Jay Cohen and J.R. Shearman and Michael Tabb’s Burning Tree Films based on a script by Tabb.

Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group chairman Dick Cook said, “It’s a privilege to add Punch Production to our roster. They’re a group that brings a wealth of experience and talent to the table.”

Hoffman’s Punch Prods. has previously produced such titles as “Tootsie,” “Hook,” “Outbreak,” “Wag the Dog” and “Walk on the Moon.”

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