In a major move for both Warner Bros. and the two A-list talents, Todd Phillips and Bradley Cooper are joining forces and have created their own production company, signing a three-year first-look deal with WB.
“Todd and Bradley have deep personal ties throughout the Studio and we couldn’t be more pleased that they are combining their immense talents into what promises to be one formidable production company,” said Greg Silverman, President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production at Warner Bros. Pictures. “The entire Warner Bros. family is excited about the great movies we know will come from this collaboration of two highly successful and original filmmakers.”
While no name has been created for the new shingle yet, Phillips and Cooper have announced that the first film to be produced under the new banner will be “Arms & the Dudes,” which the two will produce along with the Mark Gordon Company and Phillips’ will direct.
The film is based on a Rolling Stone article written by Guy Lawson that chronicles the true story of two stoner kids from Miami Beach who wound up becoming big-time arms dealers for the U.S. government, eventually landing a $300 million contract that got them in way over their heads.
Phillips has finished a final polish on the script and begun seeing actors, with plans to shoot the film later this fall.
“Todd is one of the smartest, coolest guys I know,” said Cooper. “He also happens to be one of the best filmmakers in the business and I am honored and excited to be his partner.”
The two have history going back to the “Hangover” franchise. The first film was a massive hit and put both men among the top talent in the biz. Since then, Cooper and Phillips have been considered among the studio’s top assets and Warners has made it a motto to maintain bonds with those that continue to produce hits.
The move makes sense given that both Phillips and Cooper are looking to do edgier and more serious material and while “Arms & the Dudes” is still seen as a laffer, a handful of sources say the project is more of a black comedy, leaning towards the type of film Cooper and Phillips want to produce.
“Bradley is a tremendous talent and one of my closest friends,” said Phillips. “He is the hardest working guy I know and he truly loves all aspects of filmmaking. The pairing of his intense focus and my good looks should make for some fun, and hopefully compelling, projects. I look forward to causing some trouble with him.”
Cooper formed 22nd & Indiana Pictures in 2012 and partnered with Warner Bros. in a two-year development deal, with a handful of projects now in development.
One of the first projects Cooper acquired under the 22nd & Indiana banner was “American Sniper,” an adaptation of the autobiography of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Cooper is producing and starring in the film, which is currently shooting in Morocco and Los Angeles with Clint Eastwood directing.
Phillips’ Green Hat Films has been based at Warner Bros. since 2005. The first film under the Green Hat banner was “The Hangover,” which grossed $469.2 million worldwide.
CAA reps both men and helped broker the deal.