The companies confirmed the deal on Tuesday. Chernin’s previous first-look deal had been through 20th Century Fox, but that agreement went away earlier this year after Disney absorbed the Fox feature film operations last year.
Variety reported exclusively in January that Chernin Entertainment would retain 70 of the 80-plus movie projects that it had in development at 20th. The projects remaining at Disney — like a new “Planet of the Apes” film with director Wes Ball (“The Maze Runner”) — are based on Disney-held intellectual property, and Chernin will remain attached as an executive producer.
After Chernin stepped down as the president of Fox’s then-parent company News Corp. in 2009, he launched Chernin Entertainment as a film production company with 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” He also produced several other high-profile ,movies for Fox in the previous decade, including “Hidden Figures,” “The Greatest Showman” and recent best picture nominee “Ford v Ferrari.” All told, Chernin made 24 movies over eight years, almost all of them at Fox.
Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox changed the landscape for film production at 20th, especially after the division’s film slate in 2019 dramatically underperformed, posting a $170 million loss in Disney’s fiscal third quarter. That caused Disney to cancel the majority of then-Fox’s film development slate and refocus production on established franchises.
Chernin Entertainment’s most recent films included the Kristen Stewart thriller “Underwater,” debuted with a limp $7 million domestic opening weekend, and the animated comedy “Spies in Disguise” grossed around $170 million worldwide.