Lionsgate and OddLot Entertainment have formed a multiyear, multipicture co-financing and distribution deal beginning with OddLot’s co-financing of the action comedy “Mortdecai,” starring Johnny Depp.
The companies said the deal gives them a framework for Lionsgate and OddLot to co-produce and co-finance additional pictures that may be sourced by either party. It also provides OddLot with distribution on certain pictures.
“Mortdecai” will star Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany and Olivia Munn. Production begins this fall with David Koepp directing. It’s based on the three-part series of books by Kyril Bonfiglioli and produced by Andrew Lazar, Depp and Christi Dembrowski.
Depp is portraying Charles Mortdecai, an antihero art dealer and part-time rogue who is in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi loot.
OddLot and Lionsgate have partnered already on the upcoming drama/comedy “Draft Day,” starring Kevin Costner and opening next year, and sci-fier “Ender’s Game,” starring Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield and Haile Seinfeld, which will be released Nov. 1.
Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger said in statement, “OddLot is a reliable, accomplished, respected company and an important financial partner, and they will provide us with a valuable and consistent supply of future films for our portfolio.”
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OddLot chief Gigi Pritzker said, “Lionsgate is one of the most dynamic and exciting studios in the entertainment industry today, and we look forward to expanding our current partnership on ‘Ender’s Game,’ ‘Draft Day’ and ‘Mortdecai’ to encompass an even broader slate as our relationship continues to evolve.”
Pritzker is part of the Pritzker family, which owns the Hyatt Hotel chain and is one of the richest families in the U.S. In 2001, she founded OddLot, which has also financed and produced “The Spirit,” “Rabbit Hole,” “Drive” and “The Way Way Back.”
OddLot is also a producer on “Rosewater,” Jon Stewart’s directorial debut.
Lionsgate releases about 14 to 16 titles a year and cracked the billion dollar mark in domestic grosses last year for the first time following its acquisition of Summit. It saw surprise success in the early summer with “Now You See Me,” and its tentpole “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” opens Nov. 22 amid sky-high expectations.