EXCLUSIVE: David Gardner has been promoted to partner at Principato-Young Entertainment, joining Peter Principato, Paul Young, Brian Dobbins and Allen Fischer in partner posts. Gardner has worked there since 2003 and has a client list that includes Jonathan Liebesman, Judy Greer, Ann Peacock, Neil Marshall, Brian Burns, Eriq La Salle, Ken Marino, David Ellis, Gonzalo Lopez Gallego and Nelson McCormick. Gardner is an executive producer on Caesar, the Roman epic in development at Warner Bros.
EXCLUSIVE: Night At The Museum co-writer Robert Ben Garant has just been set by Disney to write Tux, an adaptation of the Japanese graphic novel Tuxedo Gin. The film will be produced by Principato-Young’s Paul Young and Peter Principato, VIZ Media’s Jason Hoffs, and Shogakukan’s Ichiro Takase. The rights to the Tokihiko Matsuura-created Japanese property, which were controlled by Shogakukan in Japan and VIZ Media in the US, took almost two years to close. The talks actually started before Rich Ross and Sean Bailey took over the studio.
Ross and Bailey have been veering away from talking animal films but made an exception here. The graphic novel has that element, but there is also a gritty storyline. The protagonist is a young street fighter who falls into a coma and learns that he has lived his life so selfishly that he only has enough karma points to be reincarnated as an animal 15 pounds or less. Trapped in the body of a chin-strap penguin, he tries to overcome the humiliation and rack up enough good deeds to get his old body back and save the girl he loves.
Getting promoted from assistant to deal maker is itself an unforgettable day in the life of an assistant. The partners at Principato-Young ratcheted up the grandeur last Friday for newly minted managers Pete Dealbert and Meghan Moeller. Principato partners Allen Fischer and Paul Young tell me they gathered the entire assistant staff into a conference room, ostensibly to discuss the important issue of new chairs for expansion to the ninth floor at their 9465 Wilshire Blvd headquarters. While they closed the blinds to view chair choices on a monitor, partner Brian Dobbins hung an 18-foot banner off the roof of the building across the street. Filmmaker client Zack Pearlman rushed in to ask if they’d seen the commotion across the street. When the blinds were opened, Dealbert (1.5 years and Susan Solomon’s assistant) and Moeller (a 3.5 year vet and Peter Principato’s assistant) realized their coffee pouring days were over. The promotions swell the roster of Principato-Young managers to 16.