Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler has made a three-year first look deal with Color Force, the production banner run by Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson. The first film under the new pact will be an adaptation of the Robert Crais novel Suspect.
Deal comes after Jacobson completed the quartet of The Hunger Games films for Lionsgate, pictures which have preoccupied the former Disney production chief for several years. Color Force worked with Gabler’s division on the Wimpy Kid series, and Jacobson and Simpson have numerous book related projects percolating. They include Where’d You Go, Bernadette, and Crazy Rich Asians, and there is also an enduring courtship if novelist Donna Tartt for her title The Goldfinch, which would land at Warner Bros. The author has shown reluctance, as that studio has sat on her debut novel, The Secret History, and has resisted demands by the author to give back the rights. Color Force senior veep Bryan Unkeless will be the liaison.
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EXCLUSIVE: Ivanhoe Pictures, the monied production company that launched in Toronto last month as a partnership between venture capitalist Robert Friedland, indie film vet John Penotti and Beijing-based Ray Chen, have found their first picture to stake. They are joining Color Force‘s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson to produce a feature based on Kevin Kwan’s comedic bestseller Crazy Rich Asians. Ivanhoe will fully finance.
Related: Global-Minded Monied Venture Ivanhoe Pictures Launched By Troika
Back when Color Force acquired the book, Jacobson said her intention was to get funding for it outside the studio system with a company that had Asian roots. That makes this a perfect fit. Published last June by Knopf Doubleday, Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of three wealthy pedigreed Chinese families whose predilection for gossip, backbiting and scheming reaches fever pitch when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his American-born Chinese girlfriend to attend the wedding of the season in Singapore. Color Force will oversee development with Ivanhoe’s Kelly Carmichael.
The author will be executive producer while Alexandra Machinist and Color Force’s Brian Unkeless are set to co-produce. Read More »
Color Force CEO Nina Jacobson has acquired feature rights to first-time novelist Kevin Kwan’s comedic best-seller Crazy Rich Asians. Jacobson will produce with partner Brad Simpson and senior veep Bryan Unkeless will oversee development. The producer is working with the author’s reps at UTA to get this funded outside the studio system using financing from Asian and other international sources.
Book, published in June by Knopf Doubleday, tells the story of three wealthy pedigreed Chinese families whose predilection for gossip, backbiting and scheming reaches fever pitch when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his American-born Chinese girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
“Crazy Rich Asians is that immersive page turner I am constantly searching for but so rarely find,” said Jacobson. “Kevin’s writing took me into a world I’d never seen or imagined and got me so invested in the romance at the heart of it that I could not put the book down until I saw whether or not they made it. This novel represents an enormous opportunity for Color Force to tell a universal story to a global audience.”
The book was represented by UTA, Janklow & Nesbit and attorney Peter Nichols.