ReelzChannel has entered into a production deal with Asylum Entertainment to develop and produce original scripted series for the fledgling network. Asylum and Joel Surnow recently produced the controversial miniseries The Kennedys, which ReelzChannel picked up after its original network, History, passed at the last minute. Under the deal, ReelzChannel and Asylum expect to have a new series launching on the network in 2013 or as early as late next year and will develop and produce other scripted and unscripted projects together. Asylum president and chief creative officer Jonathan Koch will oversee development, with Surnow serving as a consulting executive.
The move follows a legal wrangle that took weeks to unravel about negotiating his exit from Disney, some money owing to Sony, and a new pact with New Line to host his production banner that took weeks to unravel. Adam Shankman’s Offspring Entertainment with producer Jennifer Gibgot has a first-look deal at New Line, where he did Hairspray and 17 Again. The banner was housed at Walt Disney Studios for eight years. Meanwhile, New Line says Alec Baldwin has not pulled out of Rock Of Ages. The studio says he has a personal issue that is expected to resolve so he can do the movie, which begins shooting May 23.
Universal announced today it has made a two-year term deal with Fast Five screenwriter Chris Morgan, who also penned the studio’s hits The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, and Wanted. Morgan most recently penned Universal’s upcoming 3D epic action-adventure 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves and Hiroyuki Sanada. The production agreement includes a first-look deal. He is already started on the script for the sixth installment of the Fast And Furious franchise. “Universal has been an amazing partner during the past few years,” Morgan said in the statement. “The confidence and support I’ve received from Adam Fogelson, Donna Langley and Jeff Kirschenbaum have meant so much to me professionally, and even more so personally. I’m incredibly excited by this evolution of our relationship and look forward to producing many great films together.” Uni co-chairman Donna Langley called Morgan “a talented and collaborative partner.” Morgan is currently assembling his production team, which will be housed on the Universal lot. He is currently developing three projects to produce: The Eye of the World, with Universal; The Vatican Tapes, with Lionsgate; and Heatseekers, with Platinum Dunes at Paramount.