Producer pair in DreamWorks pact

Parkes, MacDonald ink two-year first-look deal

DreamWorks has inked a two-year first-look deal with producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald.

Production pact is the company’s first since principals Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg left Paramount Pictures in October and partnered with India’s Reliance Big Entertainment on an independent venture.

DreamWorks exited Par with a number of Parkes/MacDonald development projects in tow as part of its separation agreement with the Melrose studio. Among the Parkes/MacDonald films staying in the DreamWorks fold are “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “The Damned,” “Motorcade,” “St. Agnes’ Stand” and “Dinner for Schmucks.”

“Dinner for Schmucks” had been developed as a Sacha Baron Cohen starring vehicle. He is no longer involved in the project.

“Walter and Laurie have consistently provided DreamWorks with quality films that are crowd-pleasers and box office winners,” said DreamWorks CEO and co-chair Snider.

Added Spielberg, who has a longstanding relationship with the duo: “Walter and Laurie, aside from being personal and family friends, have been a cornerstone of this company since its inception.”

As former DreamWorks co-heads, Parkes and MacDonald have produced or exec produced a number of films for the former studio, including “Gladiator” and the “Men in Black” and “The Ring” films as well as the Spielberg directing vehicles “Catch Me if You Can,” “Minority Report” and “The Terminal.” The pair’s most recent films with DreamWorks include last year’s “The Kite Runner” and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and thriller “The Uninvited,” which is scheduled for release in January.

“We’ve been fortunate to call DreamWorks our home for 14 years and couldn’t be more pleased to be part of the company’s newest incarnation,” Parkes and MacDonald said.