Sony, Marv Films pact

Shingle to produce two to three pics a year

Sony Pictures has inked a three-year first-look deal with Marv Films, the production company of multihyphenate Matthew Vaughn and Kris Thykier, as part of the studio’s international film initiative.

The U.K.-based shingle expects to produce two to three moderately budgeted pics a year under the deal, which does not cover Vaughn’s directing projects. Marv will seek co-financing for its projects.

“This is very much about building a U.K. company and British films for the international market,” said Thykier, who joined the shingle three months ago to help free upVaughn for directing assignments.

Vaughn, a former producing partner of Guy Ritchie, moved into the director’s chair with 2004’s “Layer Cake” and directed, produced and co-wrote “Stardust,” starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer; Paramount releases that pic Aug. 10. During his collaboration with Ritchie, Vaughn produced “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch.”

“Snatch” was produced under Sony’s growing local-language initiative headed by Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group co-chair Gareth Wigan and interna-tional production prexy Deborah Schindler. The conglom has standalone, local-language production units throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America. These units have also produced “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Kung Fu Hustle” for the international market.

“All the studios are looking to the international market,” Thykier said, noting that such fare is really starting to travel. “I think Sony is ahead of the game,” he added.

Wigan praised Vaughn’s fresh and original films.

“Through this deal, we look forward to producing appropriately budgeted British films with Matthew for distribution in the U.K., internationally and where ap-propriate, in the United States,” Wigan said.

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