Robert Simonds, who is producing “The Pink Panther” remake, has parted ways with the Walt Disney Co. and landed a first-look production deal at MGM.
First pic that Simonds will produce for the Lion under the deal will be a redo of the family laffer “Yours, Mine & Ours.” Original starred Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda.
Tracey Trench, who exec produces all of Simonds’ pics, will continue to serve as prexy of the Robert Simonds Co.
Simonds recently wrapped “The Pink Panther,” starring Steve Martin and directed by Shawn Levy. It bows next year.
Simonds moves to MGM as the studio is in the midst of a potential selloff of assets. But execs continue to move forward with plans to produce pics and fill the upcoming slate, having sat at the negotiation table with bidders before and not ending up with a deal.
“Having just finished principal photography on ‘The Pink Panther,’ I’m really pleased with my experience working with MGM,” Simonds said. “The studio gave us the freedom and support to make the movie we wanted to make, providing a protected, nurturing environment in which to work.”
Outside of “Panther,” the prolific producer, behind Adam Sandler hits “The Waterboy,” “The Wedding Singer” and “Big Daddy,” also has the comedies “Taxi” with Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon, and “Rebound,” with Martin Lawrence, set up at Fox, as well as “Herbie: Fully Loaded” and “The Shaggy Dog” at Disney.
Simonds also recently produced the Fox hit “Cheaper by the Dozen,” also starring Martin and helmed by Levy. It earned $139 million at the domestic B.O. A sequel’s in the works.
“Bob has one of the best track records of any active producer in Hollywood because of his impeccable eye for talent and fresh ideas,” said Chris McGurk, MGM’s vice chairman and chief operating officer. “Combined with an acute business sense, this makes Simonds the perfect creative partner for MGM.”
Simonds’ shingle had been set up at Disney since 2001. He had been housed at Universal before that.
Simonds was a production trainee at MGM before going on to develop and produce his first film, “Problem Child,” at Universal.