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Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment Not Re-Upping Sony First Look Deal (EXCLUSIVE)

After more than a decade of residing on the Sony lot,  Overbrook Entertainment principals Will Smith and James Lassister have chosen not to re-up their deal with the studio, insiders tell Variety.

The deal recently ended, and while there were rumors of Overbrook possibly moving its deal to Netflix, given the recent success of “Bright,” sources say Overbrook plans to stay independent. The company remains partnered with Sony on several projects in development including “Harlem Hellfighters” and “Bad Boys For Life,” while also working on “Uptown Saturday Night” at Warner Bros. and “The City That Sailed” at Fox. Overbrook is also a producer on the YouTube Red “Karate Kid” series “Cobra Kai,” which is also a Sony project.

Overbrook and Sony’s relationship goes back nearly 20 years and has led to a slew of hits that have included “Hitch,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Hancock” and “The Karate Kid.” As of late Overbrook’s projects have underwhelmed with “Concussion” and “After Earth” both coming under box office expectations.

The decision to not re-up reflects a growing trend of studios not continuing first look deals with production companies finding it more cost-effective to avoid the costly overhead that goes into a first look deal while still working with studios on future projects.

Overbrook and Will Smith are coming off the success of the Netflix feature film “Bright,” which was produced by Overbrook and starred Smith. Netflix has already begun development of a sequel starring Smith, following the news that more then 11 million people watched the pic over its first three days. The company is currently in post-production on the indie “Life in a Year” starring Jaden Smith, and “Hala,” the story of a Muslim teen in Chicago.

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