UPDATE: Well, this is interesting. I just heard that, in the event a Sopranos movie does happen, it does not have to go to Warner Bros/HBO. So this deal that Brad Grey made today for Paramount with his former Sopranos producing partner David Chase could be even more lucrative than I previously thought. We all knew Brad Grey’s former career would come in handy at the studio some day. And even if there’s never any Sopranos film, no one can doubt that Chase has a lot of franchises in him waiting to come out. Here’s the announcement:

chase2.jpgHOLLYWOOD, CA (May 8, 2008) — David Chase, the seven time Emmy® award-winning creator of The Sopranos, has signed a deal with Paramount Pictures to write, direct and produce his first feature film, an original drama.

Chase has a long-standing relationship with Paramount Studios chairman Brad Grey, his producing partner on The Sopranos.

“Brad has always been adventurous as a producer and looked for different ways of doing things,” said Chase. “I look forward to once again working with him, and now his team.  For years, Brad has been a great partner, who helped enable me to do what I need to creatively.”

“David is one of the great storytellers of our time, and his debut as a filmmaker is both highly anticipated and long overdue,” said Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures.  “In truth, David has been creating cinematic-quality filmed drama for more than a decade – spanning nine seasons and 86 episodes of The Sopranos.  Having worked with David as a producer, I’m delighted to be with him again and to bring his unique vision to the big screen.”

As a writer, producer and director, Chase’s television career spans three decades and includes such other critically lauded shows as The Rockford Files, I’ll Fly Away and Northern Exposure, as well as the classic telefilm, Off the Minnesota Strip.

Chase was nominated for nine Emmy® awards for writing and producing The Sopranos, winning four.  He received the DGA Award for directing The Sopranos pilot and directed the last episode as well. The Rockford Files won the 1976 Emmy® for Best Drama and the Edgar Allen Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Chase’s first directorial assignment was for the 1980s incarnation of the classic Alfred Hitchcock Presents.  Chase also wrote, directed and executive-produced the critically acclaimed series Almost Grown.

Chase’s many other awards and honors include the WGA’s 2008 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television, the DGA Honors Award (2006), and the Special Edgar for the Creation of Breakthrough Television by the Mystery Writers of America (2005).

In addition, all The Sopranos episodes are part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the first time MOMA has included an entire television series in its archives.

Chase was represented in the deal by UTA and attorney Michael Gendler.

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