EXCLUSIVE: Just as Whitey Bulger rose to the top of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List when he disappeared for a decade before he could be put behind bars, the fast mobilizing movie about the Boston crime kingpin just rose to the top of the most wanted list in the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin. That’s because Johnny Deep has become attached to star in the Cross Creek crime thriller Black Mass, with Barry Levinson directing him. The picture is a co-production between Cross Creek and Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media, with the two entities co-financing. Universal Pictures is aboard to release the film in the U.S. through Cross Creek’s distribution deal with the studio, and production is to begin in May.
The film will be produced by Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson, John Lesher, and Christi Dembrowski, Depp’s partner in Infinitum Nihil. Exclusive Media’s Tobin Armbrust, President Worldwide Production and Acquisitions and Cross Creek Pictures Sr. VP of Production Adam Kassan, will oversee production. Alex Walton, Exclusive Media’s President of International Sales and Distribution, will introduce Black Mass to overseas buyers at the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin.
The title of the film comes from the 2001 Dick Lehr/Gerald O’Neill New York Times bestseller Black Mass: The True Story of … Read More »
Cross Creek Pictures has hired John Hilary Shepherd as director of development. This is the same guy who is adapting Boneshaker for Cross Creek and Hammer Films, and who got a WGA nomination for his work on the first season of Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. Shepherd gets going with the development of the sequel The Woman In Black: Angels Of Death, after the first pic grossed $130 million worldwide. Shepherd has been a development executive and story analyst for Spelling Films, Polygram, and WMA. Read More »
Cross Creek Pictures has brought Adam Kassan on board as Senior Vice President of Production and Development. “He is an intelligent, meticulous and hands-on production executive and we are excited he is joining the team,” said Cross Creek president Brian Oliver today of Kassan. The exec most recently served as VP at Scott Free Productions. Before that he was co-president of John Lesher’s Le Grisbi Productions where he was an executive producer on the David Ayer-directed End Of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. Kassan began his career at Miramax Films and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. After a stint at Paramount Vantage, Kassan served as Vice President at Paramount Pictures, where he helped oversee films such as the Oscar winning No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood and JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. Cross Creek has the Ron Howard-directed Rush in post-production for a scheduled September, 2013 release. The company plans to start production on A Walk Among The Tombstones, starring Liam Neeson, in early 2013.
EXCLUSIVE: Liam Neeson is set to star as Matt Scudder in A Walk Among the Tombstones, the Scott Frank-scripted adaptation of the Lawrence Block book series. Frank will direct his script. The movie will begin production February, 2013 in New York and is the first film in a new three-year deal between Exclusive Media and Cross Creek Pictures to develop, finance and produce at least two films per year, with budgets up to $65 million. Each of the films will be released through Universal Pictures, which has a slate distribution deal with Cross Creek.
In A Walk Among the Tombstones, Neeson plays Scudder at the time he’s an ex-NYPD cop and unlicensed private detective and recovering alcoholic. He’s hired to find the kidnapped wife of a drug dealer. In the process, he discovers that the kidnappers have done this before and it has led to brutal murders. Block’s Scudder character was previously played by Jeff Bridges in the Hal Ashby-directed 8 Million Ways To Die. Double Feature Films partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher will produce with Danny DeVito and his Jersey Films. Exclusive Media’s Alex Walton will sell overseas rights at Cannes.
The funding deal was made by Exclusive Media co-chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East and Cross Creek president Brian Oliver after the two companies joined forces on several movies, and most recently Rush, the Ron Howard-directed and Peter Morgan-scripted … Read More »
BREAKING: Universal Pictures has made a three-year deal to distribute at least six pictures produced and funded by Cross Creek Pictures. The first film in this deal will be Rush, the Ron Howard-directed Formula One drama. Cross Creek, run by president Brian Oliver and CEO Timmy Thompson, has quickly emerged as a significant film financier. They got started with the Darren Aronofsky-directed Black Swan and continue with the upcoming George Clooney-directed The Ides of March and Daniel Radcliffe-starrer The Woman in Black, which will be distributed by CBS Films.
The deal was announced by Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson and co-chairman Donna Langley, along with Oliver and Thompson.
Cross Creek is partnered with Exclusive Media Group as co-financier and co-producer of Rush, the Howard-directed drama about the battle between ’70s Formula One racers Niki Lauda and James Hunt that stars Thor‘s Chris Hemsworth and Inglourious Basterds‘ Daniel Bruhl. Peter Morgan wrote the script, and Howard and the actors shot some footage during Formula One races held at Nurburgring Race Track in Germany. It was there, in the 70s, that Lauda was almost killed in a fiery accident that is a major part of the drama. The film seems a natural fit for Universal, since Oliver’s fellow producers are Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Both Imagine and Cross Creek have overall deals at the studio.
Aside from pictures that Cross Creek brings into the equation, the company will likely become a financier of existing Universal projects getting close to green lights. The budgets of the films will range from $15 million-$65 million, with the average film costing between $25 million-$35 million. Cross Creek is set up to generate up to four films per year, with Universal to distribute at least two of them with a wide-release commitment. Read More »
After making a splash by funding the wildly profitable Darren Aronofsky-directed Black Swan, Timmy Thompson and Brian Oliver’s Cross Creek Pictures has become an increasing presence in the independent film producing and finance game. To help manage the growing project volume, they’ve hired Becky Sloviter to be senior vice president of development and production. She started work yesterday and had most recently been veep of development and production at MGM, where she worked on such titles as the Kevin James-starrer Zookeeper and the Drew Goddard-directed The Cabin in the Woods, as well as the musical Valley Girl which is on a fast track at MGM. Before that, Sloviter had been a production exec at Stuber/Parent Productions. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Chris Hemsworth will get behind the wheel to star in the role of British Formula One driver James Hunt in Rush, the Peter Morgan-scripted drama that shapes up as the next directing effort for Ron Howard. Cross Creek Pictures is the backer, with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Howard producing alongside Brian Oliver and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
Talks are underway for Hemsworth to play Hunt in the story of his rivalry with Niki Lauda for Formula One circuit dominance in the 1970s. Deals aren’t done yet, but it’s all shaping up for this picture to happen early next year. Hemsworth is already set to reprise his role as Thor in the Marvel Studios sequel that has been dated for a July 26, 2013 release by Disney. There is no distributor aboard yet on Rush, but considering that both Imagine and Working Title are based at Universal, the likelihood is that the picture will land there. The prime mover has been Oliver’s Cross Creek, which, after making a killing on Black Swan, is in the middle of several major pictures including the George Clooney-directed The Ides of March. Hemsworth’s repped by IFA and ROAR.
EXCLUSIVE: Cross Creek Pictures has stepped up to finance A Walk Among the Tombstones, an adaptation of the Lawrence Block novel that seemed to have been put to rest more than a decade ago. DJ Caruso is in discussions to direct a script by Scott Frank. It is one of two pictures Caruso is considering for his next film. The other is Preacher, the John August-scripted film for Sony Pictures and producer Neal Moritz.
Double Feature partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher are producing with Danny DeVito and Cross Creek president Brian Oliver. Shamberg, Sher and DeVito first got Frank to write a script while they were partners in Jersey Films. It had been set at Universal and once had Harrison Ford interested in playing Matthew Scudder, an alcoholic former cop who spends his retirement doing favors for friends, the kind that take him deep into the underbelly of New York City. In A Walk Among the Tombstones, a heroin kingpin’s wife is kidnapped and those kidnappers begin to send her back in pieces. The Scudder character was previously seen in 8 Million Ways To Die. Read More »