Arnon Milchan’s 20th Century Fox-based Regency Enterprises has signed a three-year, first-look deal with Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures.
The arrangement covers the writing, producing and directing services of Aronofsky and partner Eric Watson for films at all budget levels. The pact also includes a discretionary fund.
The first project under development will be the novel “Flicker,” with Jim Uhls (“Fight Club”) in negotiations to adapt.
Written by Dr. Theodore Roszak, a Cal State history professor, “Flicker” is a conspiracy thriller that takes a disturbing and revisionist look at film history. Story is told through the eyes of a Los Angeles film student who, after he becomes obsessed with the oeuvre of a hack filmmaker, determines that B movies are part of a plot to destroy life on Earth. Summit Books published it in 1991.
Protozoa also announced the hire of Ari Handel as Protozoa’s president and the promotion of Elizabeth Raposo to director of development. CAA brokered the deal.
Aronofsky previously directed “Pi” and “Requiem for a Dream,” which Watson produced. Handel is a longtime Aronofsky collaborator and was his co-writer on “The Fountain.”
Regency first tried to work with Aronofsky as a producing partner on Warner Bros. Pictures’ ill-fated Brad Pitt project “The Fountain.” Warners greenlit the film last summer, shortly after Regency came aboard the long-gestating project, but the film fell apart just a month later when Pitt and Aronofsky faced creative issues (Daily Variety, Aug. 29, 2002).
Aronofsky is still attached to write and direct “Batman: Year One” for Warners.
Protozoa will remain based in New York, with a satellite office on the Fox lot.
“Darren Aronofsky is a filmmaker with a singular, provocative and powerful vision,” Milchan said. “Over the past few years, we at Regency have followed his career and prodigious talent with great interest. We are thrilled to have him, Eric and Protozoa join our family.”
Said Aronofsky, “I’m very excited to be working with Arnon, David (Matalon), Sanford (Panitch) and Regency Enterprises. They have been very supportive of Protozoa and me. This deal will allow us to develop many thrilling projects.”