EXCLUSIVE: It took two decades, but it’s finally getting off the ground thanks to billionaires Ron Burkle and Steve Bing, Windsor Media’s Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency and James Packer’s and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment. The heavies have come together to finance Warren Beatty’s long-gestating Howard Hughes-based project. The roughly $26.7M production, which Beatty will direct and star in as Hughes, will revolve around Hughes’ assistant (Alden Ehrenreich, Beautiful Creatures) and his love interest (Lily Collins, Mirror, Mirror). New Regency, Beatty and Ratner are producing, with Packer executive producing. Regency will handle foreign through Fox. They’ve already shot a small amount of film on the picture, but it starts rolling in earnest today. Beatty’s wife Annette Bening and Matthew Broderick and other surprises are expected (a la Jack Nicholson, maybe? One can only hope). The focus of the film is the love story of the two younger characters.
Warren Beatty’s Untitled Howard Hughes Pic Finally Takes Flight Financed By Billionaire Boys’ Club; Ehrenreich, Collins To Star In Love Story; Bening And Broderick Also In
After just over three months as CFO and 13 years with the company, Bob Corzo is leaving New Regency. Today’s surprise move sees Mimi Tseng hired as the company’s new CFO. That makes the former Summit Entertainment’s EVP, Finance & Operations the third or fourth person to hold the CFO job in as many months depending how you look at it. Corzo was quietly moved into the CFO job soon after long time COO/CFO Louis Santor resigned on March 12 after 20 years with the company. At the time Jonathan Fisher was named as Santor’s successor. It seems the former Groundswell Productions president became COO but never actually CFO.
Insiders say that when Santor left, Corzo said he had been promised the CFO job. President/CEO Brad Weston and company chairman Arnon Milchan relented and, without ever correcting the Fisher announcement, handed the then VP and Controller the CFO gig. Though obviously not for long. Corzo, who the company says is transitioning out over the next few months, is just one of many to leave New Regency in the past year. So with all those revolving doors, the question is who’s coming or going next over there and is the clock already ticking for Tseng?
Besides Corzo and Santor, company chairman Bob Harper and Hutch Parker exited in late 2011 as Milchan, who owns 80% of the film and financing company, took direct control again and installed himself as Chairman. …
LOS ANGELES, CA (March 12, 2012) – New Regency COO/CFO Louis Santor is exiting his post this July, it was announced today by company president and CEO, Brad Weston. Over the past month, the seasoned executive has worked with company chairman Arnon Milchan and Weston to help select his successor, Jonathan Fischer, who has been appointed to the post of chief financial officer. Santor will be staying on for a transitional period through the summer, as a consultant working alongside Fischer.
Santor, a 20-year veteran of the company, is moving on to pursue a number of opportunities and new challenges which have presented themselves over the past several months. He has been instrumental in the company’s past successes, including most recently securing the renewal of the bank line of credit. Long-time deputy CFO, Robert Corzo, will be staying on in an increased capacity.
Fischer most recently served as president of Groundswell Productions, a position he held for two years. His New Regency appointment is effective immediately and he will report to Weston.
This mean-mail from Arnon Milchan to his New Regency staff was all over the Twentieth Century Fox lot 2 weeks ago. (I received it, thought it was ridiculous, and can’t believe others are touting it – so here it is…) Fox film execs at the time explained it to me thusly: “When things tend to slow down at his company, Arnon gets bored. New Regency is refocusing under a new regime, and Arnon is upset there’s nothing in the pipeline after Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, In Time, and What’s Your Number. There’s just a Russell Crowe movie that’s a negative pickup. This is a message from Arnon to Brad Weston and Carla Hacken to step it up. It’s like Arnon is saying, ‘See how serious I am? I’m beating them into shape.’ But it’s well-known by the New Regency staff to ‘Beware if Arnon focuses on you’ when he’s jetting between houses and has a little wine.”
From: Arnon Milchan
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 3:46 PM
To: * Group -Internal ALL NRP Only (Bldg.12)
Cc: Chase Carey; Tom Rothman; Jim Gianopulos; Oren Aviv
Subject: New Regency
I’ve committed $300M in fees which translates to $5 billon in movies and TV over the next 10 years, which forces me to have sleepless nights. I’d like to know what the 3-5 best connections you have in the movie industry, that can move the needle and create added value beyond what Fox does. I’d like to be reassured that if
EXCLUSIVE: The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock has been set to write and direct The Partner, based on the John Grisham bestseller. The project is set up at New Regency, whose principal, Arnon Milchan, previously adapted the Grisham novels A Time To Kill, The Client and Runaway Jury, back in the day when Grisham was getting up to $8 million for movie rights to his legal thrillers.
Hancock has also been circling Highwaymen, the John Fusco-scripted drama about the vet cops dragged out of retirement to hunt down bank robbers Bonny and Clyde. If Hancock commits to that film, he’ll do The Partner next.
Published in 2005, The Partner is about Patrick Lanigan, a young partner in a white shoe Biloxi law firm with a wife and newborn daughter. Trapped in a burning car one night, he died, leaving behind only ashes. But Lanigan is disillusioned enough by his life to fake his death and steal $90 million from his firm. He just has to hope the wrong people don’t catch up with him as he goes on the run. CAA-repped Hancock made his directing debut on The Rookie, after scripting such films as A Perfect World and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
EXCLUSIVE: New Regency has signed a two-year first look producing deal with Len Wiseman and David Bernardi’s Sketch Films. The deal was made by New Regency CEO Brad Weston, whose mandate under Arnon Milchan is to turn New Regency into a director-driven enterprise. Wiseman is no stranger to New Regency’s distribution partner 20th Century Fox; he revived the Die Hard franchise with 2007′s Live Free Or Die Hard, which grossed $383 million worldwide. Wiseman just directed Colin Farrell in the Sony Pictures remake Total Recall, which will be released next August. Wiseman’s breakthrough came in the Underworld film franchise, cowriting and directing the first two films. He’s a producer and writer on the upcoming Underworld Awakening, which gets release in January.
Wiseman formed Sketch Flms with Bernardi, who is a former president of Scott Rudin Productions, and before that was a producer and exec at Imagine Entertainment. He hasn’t done a movie yet for New Regency, but that is likely to change. Said Weston: “Len is an expert in big event moviemaking, and he and David are welcome additions to our growing family of filmmakers. They will be key players as we build a slate of pictures.” Wiseman’s repped by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Longtime Fox 2000 EVP Carla Hacken is leaving the studio to become president of production for New Regency. It is the latest move in a restructuring of the company since Arnon Milchan reemerged as an active chairman and installed former Paramount Pictures production president Brad Weston as CEO with a mandate to become a more filmmaker-driven concern.
New Regency is partly owned by News Corp, whose 20th Century Fox distributes and often co-finances Regency-generated films. The move was orchestrated with the cooperation of Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman and Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler.
“Jim, Tom and Liz have been great partners and are incredibly gracious about Carla,” Weston told me in confirming the move. “They see this as a terrific opportunity for her, and a great way to help support New Regency. Arnon and I couldn’t be more appreciative.”
Hacken was an ICM agent when she was brought into the Fox 2000 fold 15 years ago by Laura Ziskin. She has worked closely with Gabler and developed such films as Unfaithful, The Devil Wears Prada, Walk The Line, Bride Wars, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and its sequel, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Love & Other Drugs and In Her Shoes.
There has long been a tradition of cross pollination between Fox and New Regency (which is based on the lot). That includes Sanford Panitch (who moved from Fox to Regency and now steers Fox International Productions) …
EXCLUSIVE: New Regency today acquired rights to turn the Jim Henson series Fraggle Rock into a feature film. The property was shopped and caught the interest of studios, before New Regency made the deal for a film that will be produced by The Jim Henson Company and the Montecito Picture Company. The series premiered on HBO in 1983, ran for five seasons and was broadcast in over 80 countries. It revolved around puppet characters Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Boober and Red, who lived in Fraggle Rock. They interacted with humans who thought they were aliens.
New Regency was recently reconstituted by Arnon Milchan, who brought in Brad Weston to put together a slate of filmmaker-driven films that are mostly geared for adults. However, the Alvin And The Chipmunks franchise has been lucrative for New Regency, and this was an opportunity to add another family film franchise. It is not immediately clear whether the film will use puppets or be a CG/live-action mix. New Regency and the producers are figuring that out now and will set a writer shortly.
EXCLUSIVE: In one of its first moves since Brad Weston was named CEO and Arnon Milchan reinserted himself as the active head of the company, New Regency has come aboard the producing roster of Broken City, the Allen Hughes-directed drama that stars Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe. The film will be distributed through New Regency’s deal with 20th Century Fox. It was put together and funded by Emmett/Furla Films. In the Brian Tucker-scripted drama, Wahlberg plays a detective hired by the mayor to see if his wife is unfaithful. When her cheating partner turns up dead, the private eye devotes himself to exposing the mayor and uncovers a self-dealing real estate scandal involving the politician. Crowe plays the mayor. Wahlberg is producing through his Closest to the Hole banner; Stephen Levinson through Leverage; and Randall Emmett, George Furla and Hughes are also producing. Emmett brokered the deal.
While Milchan is finalizing a new credit line, he and Weston visited the agencies this week to let them know what they are up to. They want to turn the company into a filmmaker-driven company, engaging in the kind of films Milchan used to make, when he produced and funded pictures that included L.A. Confidential, Heat, Fight Club and JFK. New Regency is teamed with Paramount on the Darren Aronofsky-directed Biblical epic Noah, which finally got announced this week and which could start production early next year if John Logan’s rewrite of …
After Arnon Milchan reconstituted New Regency with a new $500 million credit line and plans to reemerge at the helm with former Paramount production president Brad Weston as CEO, Alexandra Milchan has returned to the company as executive vice president of production. She will report to Weston. She is the daughter of Milchan, who owns 80% of New Regency, and she spent 13 years there, rising from assistant to senior executive, before leaving to become a producer.
“Alexandra has great relationships and a real passion for movies, and we are thrilled to have her back at New Regency,” Weston said. “She will play a central role as we work to return Regency to its roots, producing bold, filmmaker-driven pictures with a singular vision which will entertain audiences around the world.”
During Milchan’s earlier Regency stint, she worked on such films as the Jon Amiel-directed Copycat, Michael Mann-directed Heat, the Joel Schumacher-directed A Time To Kill and Curtis Hanson-directed L.A. Confidential. She left to start Emjag Productions, producing such films as the David Ayer-directed Street Kings, the Alexandre Aja-directed Mirrors, and the upcoming Walter Hill-directed Bullet to the Head, with Sylvester Stallone. She also developed The Wolf of Wall Street, which Martin Scorsese will direct with Leonardo DiCaprio for Red Granite and Appian Way; the Aja-directed The Space Pirate at Lionsgate, and an untitled Taylor Lautner project at New Regency.
EXCLUSIVE: Hours after Deadline revealed the impending exit of New Regency chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker, I’m told that former Paramount Pictures production president Brad Weston is in deep negotiations to run the production/financing company as president/CEO. That is a position similar to the one held by Sanford Panitch before he left to run Fox International Productions. The chairman post that will be vacated by Harper and Parker will be filled by majority owner Arnon Milchan, who is really planning to roll up his sleeves and become way more involved than he has been in the past few years.
Weston is an experienced production executive who, before Paramount, ran Dimension Films with Andrew Rona, (who after starting the Rogue genre label for Universal is currently running Joel Silver’s company at Warner Bros). The big question is whether Milchan will be willing to put ain the time and the daily grind that is necessary to run a major production/financing company like New Regency, where Harper and Parker oversaw everything from production to marketing, distribution and the library. Rupert Murdoch tried a hands on approach years ago after Barry Diller left, but it is a tough thing to sustain when there are other businesses to run. Of course, Milchan owns 80% of New Regency (Fox is a part owner of the company), so he has the right to run things if …
EXCLUSIVE: A major shake up is taking place at Arnon Milchan’s New Regency. Co-chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker will not renew their contracts when they expire in December. I’ve confirmed with Harper that he and Parker are negotiating their exits. There had recently been a ripple of rumors about this, and there will be the inevitable speculation over whether the duo are jumping before being pushed. Harper didn’t get into that, but said that he was confirming because he and Parker were aware of the rumors and were most concerned with reassuring filmmakers with Regency projects that the duo would continue to be closely involved and see those films through to release. Harper also said the decision came after months of conversations with Milchan over whether or not to renew. Recently, they came to the conclusion that this was the best course. Milchan could conceivably name a replacement quickly, but Harper told me that he and Parker will continue to see through the completed films as well as some of the projects that are gearing up for production starts, regardless of how quickly the succession takes place.
Harper had been in the job for four years (he moved from the post of vice chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment and has worked for Fox since 1986), and Parker had been in the post for more than three years (he moved over from the post of 20th Century Fox vice chairman, and had been with the studio 13 years when he took the job). They have been involved in every facet of New Regency films, including production, marketing, distribution and administering the library. Harper said it is unclear what will happen next year, and that he and Harper haven’t solidified their plans. I wouldn’t be surprised if they remain on the Fox lot as producers or in some other capacity.