‘Beauty and the Beast’ Producers Leave Disney for Universal Deal

Universal Pictures has entered into a first-look production agreement with “Beauty and the Beast” producers David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, and Mandeville Films.

The duo, whose credits include “Wonder,” “The Fighter,” “Stronger,” “The Proposal,” and “The Muppets,” have been at Disney under a first-look deal for 20 years.

The announcement was made Thursday by Peter Cramer, president of production at Universal Pictures.

“David and Todd are high quality storytellers with commercial sensibilities and deep relationships throughout the industry,” said Cramer. “We are thrilled to welcome them and their team at Mandeville to the Universal family and look forward to a great creative partnership.”

Hoberman said, “Disney has been an incredible journey for me, working both as an executive and producer for the last 32 years. I have great admiration for everyone I’ve worked with over the years and Todd and I have loved the process of making movies there. We are excited to be moving to Universal as it has been a studio I’ve had great respect for. Donna and Peter are a formidable team and we are so thrilled to have the opportunity to call Universal our new home in Todd’s and my next chapter.”

Mandeville Films has produced feature films that have collectively grossed more than $4.5 billion in worldwide gross. Hoberman founded Mandeville Films in 1995 and signed a five-year first-look pact with the Walt Disney Studios. In 1999, Hoberman signed a first-look deal for Mandeville at the Walt Disney Studios with Lieberman. Two years later, Lieberman became a co-partner in the company.

“My 20 years at Disney have been incredibly joyful and I’m beyond proud of what we accomplished together,” Lieberman said. “I’m now thrilled for David and I to be joining forces with Universal and its team under Donna (Langley) and Peter’s leadership. As a movie fan and filmmaker, I can’t wait to be a part of the Universal family.”

Hoberman and Lieberman are in pre-production on “The Aeronauts” for Amazon Studios. Mandeville was represented in the deal by WME and Craig Jacobson and Stewart Brookman at HJTH.

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