Mike Fleming

Universal has closed a two-year first-look producing deal with Robert Zemeckis and his ImageMovers shingle. ImageMovers will stay in its current headquarters and will not be based on the Universal lot. There doesn’t appear to be a specific movie that Zemeckis will make that triggered the deal; rather, studio brass just wanted to be in business with them. Zemeckis and partners Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey had a rather unceremonious exit from Disney, closing its Marin County animation facility and then watching the Zemeckis-produced performance capture film Mars Needs Moms flop badly at the box office. Zemeckis has devoted himself to the 3D performance capture format, but that seems to have run its course. Every studio is vying to have Zemeckis direct a live-action film, even though the studios know that his company deal is a very rich one. He is the guy, after all, who directed Cast Away and Forrest Gump, and he’s responsible for the Back To The Future franchise that was huge for Universal. Zemeckis has been mentioned as a possible director on several projects including the Paramount drama Flight, for which Denzel Washington has been mentioned as possible star.

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