Under the deal, announced on Thursday, See-Saw will develop movies to be financed by and co-produced with New Regency. In addition to development and production financing, the first look provides See-Saw with global studio distribution through New Regency’s deal with 20th Century Fox for all films greenlit under the deal.
The announcement was made by New Regency Chairman Yariv Milchan, and See-Saw managing directors Iain Canning and Emile Sherman.
“A decade into See-Saw, this partnership with our friends at New Regency allows us to continue to make bold, smart, commercial movies with taste and heart,” Canning and Sherman said. “We can support our filmmakers at all budget sizes and across all genres, including the ability to tell distinctive U.S. stories for a global audience. Having access to global studio distribution, without sacrificing our focus on quality, director-led films is what makes this partnership truly special.”
Canning and Sherman won the 2011 best picture Academy Award seven years ago for “The King’s Speech” along with Garth Unwin. The duo received best picture nominations last year for Garth Davis’ “Lion,” and have produced Steve McQueen’s “Shame,” Anton Corbijn’s “Life,” Bill Condon’s “Mr. Holmes,” and Davis’ “Mary Magdalene,” which is in post-production.
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“Mary Magdalene” stars Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ and reunites Davis with “Lion” star Rooney Mara in the title role. “Mary Magdalene” is set for a worldwide release during the Easter holiday.
Canning told Variety that the partnership grew out of the strong relationship that began when the companies started working together on the Steve McQueen film “Widows,” starring Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, and Cynthia Erivo as the widows of four men killed during a robbery. Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Robert Duvall, and Daniel Kaluuya also star in “Widows.” In addition to directing, McQueen also co-wrote the script with Gillian Flynn. The film is produced by See-Saw, with New Regency, Fox, and Film4 co-financing. “Widows” opens Nov. 16.
Canning said the new deal will enable See-Saw to produce larger projects.
“We’ve worked with a lot of lower-budget projects like ‘Mr. Holmes,’ so this will enable us to work with filmmakers on a bigger scale,” he said. “We want to make films in the U.S., so this will also help us do that.”
Milchan added, “See-Saw has an extensive track record of producing features that are both beautifully crafted and deeply impactful. We are eager to begin working with their expanding team and build upon our close relationship with Iain and Emile, who share our passion for creating exceptional auteur-driven films.”
New Regency signed a multi-year deal in November with McQueen. Its most prominent titles include “The Revenant,” “12 Years a Slave,” “The Big Short,” “Birdman,” and “Gone Girl.”
New Regency’s slate includes “Unsane,” Steven Soderbergh’s thriller that Bleecker Street will distribute in the U.S. on March 23 with New Regency distributing internationally; “Bohemian Rhapsody,” starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury with a Christmas release; and James Gray’s “Ad Astra,” starring Brad Pitt, Ruth Negga, Tommy Lee Jones, and Donald Sutherland, to be released by Fox on Jan. 11, 2019.
Eric Roth and David Friedman negotiated the first-look deal on behalf of New Regency. Simon Gillis, and attorney Craig Emanuel of Loeb & Loeb negotiated on behalf of See-Saw Films.
(Pictured: See-Saw Films’ Iain Canning and Emile Sherman)