Sony has extended its first-look non-exclusive deal with Escape Artists, the indie film and TV production outfit that has been headquartered at the studio since 1998. Escape Artists, topped by Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch, is behind such recent films as The Pursuit Of Happyness, Seven Pounds and The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3 and is working on several projects including the Meryl Streep-Tommy Lee Jones-Steve Carell starrer Great Hope Springs, which is set for next December. “We have been partners with Todd, Jason, and Steve for more than a decade and we trust them implicitly for a simple reason: they have first-rate taste,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal, who made the announcement of the three-year extension today alongside Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad. “They carefully choose the projects that they want to make and they have a very focused and disciplined development process. We couldn’t be more thrilled to continue our collaboration with them.” The group’s other projects in development include the Nicholas Stollar and Jason Segel collaboration Sex Tape; The Equalizer, an adaptation of the TV series; and Masters Of The Universe, based on the Mattel toy line. Escape Artists also has projects set up at other studios including Gospel For Teens, based on a 60 Minutes segment that will be produced with Chris Meledrandi and Illumination Entertainment at Universal.