“The Bachelor” creator Mike Fleiss is looking to ramp up his feature business.
Fleiss is relaunching Next Films, which he’ll run along with his producing partner, Chris Briggs.
Fleiss and Briggs have also recruited Emily Hirsch, a former William Morris Independent agent — who was let go as part of the William Morris/Endeavor merger — as VP of production and development.
“This is something Chris and I talked about for a long time,” Fleiss said. “We’ve been looking to build out an infrastructure to make movies more regularly. Now’s the time. The TV stuff is my base, but the film stuff is what I’ve dreamed of doing. … I work like a maniac, and we want to make a lot of movies.”
Fleiss has already produced horror pics “Hostel” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and disaster film “Poseidon.”
Next will continue to dabble in the horror/thriller genre, having just sealed a deal with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi to launch a horror franchise based on the band’s name. Fleiss has already scouted out a writer for the feature, while Iommi will write the music.
“We don’t want to ignore the success we’ve had in the genre space,” Fleiss said.
Next has also put together a development fund and has acquired rights to other properties and projects. Fleiss and Briggs said they’re looking at comedies and remakes as well.
Fleiss said he also plans to develop more in the scripted arena; such projects would go through Warner Bros. TV and Warner Horizon, where Next is based.
Unlike on the TV side, Next Films isn’t looking to make a feature deal.
Fleiss said he still remains involved in the reality TV business and has eight projects at various stages at the nets. Next up, his Fox series “More to Love” launches next week, while CBS has “There Goes the Neighborhood” on tap for late summer.
Nonetheless, the producer is said to have already started disengaging somewhat from the reality arena in order to focus on films. But Fleiss stresses he isn’t turning his back on reality.
This effort reps the second major push for Fleiss in the film space; he pulled back from reality TV a few years ago to focus on features.
But more recently, he got back into the reality game in a big way; beyond the continued success of the “Bachelor” franchise, his other recent series include “Hitched or Ditched” and “The Cougar.”
Most of that reality prominence was orchestrated by UTA’s Michael Camacho, but the two parted ways last week. As he launches Next Films, Fleiss has moved over to WME Entertainment, where he’ll now be repped in both film and TV.
“They’re a massive agency with superlong tentacles,” Fleiss said of his decision to jump to WME. “It’s really a full-service operation. This will get us in the room with everybody, and access to anything in the world. That’s how I like to work. I don’t like to confine my ideas to the reality TV space.”