Producer Scott Steindorff has aligned with Las Vegas entrepreneurs Andrew Molasky and Danny and Robin Greenspun to form Stone Village Entertainment, a venture that will provide financing for development projects in features and television.
Molasky is a former senior veep of business and legal affairs for Lorimar Prods., and he once headed Lorimar’s London office. More recently, he headed the Molasky Group, which developed high-rises in Las Vegas. Molasky will steer the TV component of the new venture, called Stone Village Television.
He is an avid horse racer, and an early project will be a TV series about a horse racing family that Molasky will steer with Stone Village execs Scott LaStaiti and Valeska Ramet.
Danny Greenspun is chairman of the Greenspun Media Group, the media arm of the Greenspun Corp., which owns a stable of local publications like Las Vegas Weekly. The Greenspun family also co-owns the Green Valley Ranch Resort & Casino. They also own the Web site VEGAS.com, and have a joint venture in all-news cable channel Las Vegas One. Robin Greenspun’s background is in TV production, advertising and PR.
Several years of funding
Steindorff, who’ll oversee the entire venture and will make features under the Stone Village Pictures banner, said the alliance provides several years of funding that will enable him to stay at the table when high rollers bid on books.
“This allows me to have financial and creative freedom and be more competitive,” he said. “If there is a great book up for grabs and I’m competing against studios, I’m not going to be out of the race. These are people I know well, who share my passion, and with whom I’m comfortable. The hope is to build this into a branded entertainment company, rather than just one of many production companies.”
Steindorff has become a scrappy dealmaker with a nose for highbrow books that have film potential. He gambled on the Philip Roth novel “The Human Stain,” and Lakeshore and Miramax will release it this September, starring Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Gary Sinise and Ed Harris. Steindorff teamed with Paul Newman and Marc Platt on the Fred Schepisi-directed HBO adaptation of the Richard Russo novel “Empire Falls,” which landed Newman, Harris, Helen Hunt, Joanne Woodward and Philip Seymour Hoffman and shoots this fall.
Working on ‘Ikiru’ redo
Steindorff is producing a remake of the Kurosawa pic “Ikiru” that Richard Price is scripting as a potential Tom Hanks vehicle. He also recently made a deal with Michael Viner and Deborah Raffin to give movie treatment to “The Puppet Master: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover,” the new book by Richard Hack.
Hack wrote the Howard Hughes book that Steindorff set up with Viner and Raffin at Castle Rock. Chris Nolan wrote the script and plans to direct Jim Carrey in the starring role, but the project’s momentum slowed when rival “The Aviator” got off the ground with Martin Scorsese directing Leonardo DiCaprio.
On the TV side, Steindorff is an exec producer on the Gary Scott Thompson-created NBC/DreamWorks drama series “Las Vegas,” which bows this fall with James Caan starring.
Next step will be to align with a distributor. Studios usually welcome producers who not only come with material, but are willing to share the risk with financing coin. Several of Steindorff’s existing projects will become part of the new venture, and a deal was just made for screen rights to the Jack Kerley novel “The Hundredth Man” for a low against mid-six figure sum. Feature veep Dylan Russell brought in the book, which will be published by Dutton.
Steindorff has been working on an adaptation of the T.C. Boyle novel “The Tortilla Curtain,” with script by Dayan Ballweg. He hopes to align a distributor and cast and get the film into production by January.