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Emmett/Furla/Oasis Ups Execs Tim Sullivan & Jessica Welch

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 3:54pm PST
Mike Fleming

efoEXCLUSIVE: The increasingly prolific Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films has promoted Tim Sullivan from development exec to director of development and Jessica Welch to production executive. She had been executive assistant at the company run by Randall Emmett and George Furla.

This comes as the company follows Lone Survivor by financing/producing the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence with Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Ken Watanabe and Adam Driver. EFOF also just committed to finance Labor Of Love, marking a reteam of Sixth Sense‘s M. Night Shyamalan and Bruce Willis, with Stuart Ford’s IM Global selling international at Berlin. They wrapped production on The Prince last month, and are getting close on the Tupac Shakur biopic, a film based on Hasbro’s Monopoly and Universal’s Everest.

Related: Sundance: Bruce Willis To Star In Action Pic ‘Vice’, Teaming Again With Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films

As for the promotions, Sullivan started at EFOF as Emmett’s intern in 2008 and worked his way up to junior creative exec. He’ll acquire scripts and scout talent for EFOF projects. He will continue to co-produce films for the label, and his name is on The Prince, Vice, Hotel 33 and Expiration. Welch also started as an intern and was promoted first to assistant and now production exec, acting as a liaison to line managers and all producers on all upcoming EFOF films.

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Oasis Ventures Acquires Stake In Film Producer/Financier Emmett/Furla Films

By | Monday July 22, 2013 @ 10:55am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Oasis Ventures Entertainment has acquired a stake in Emmett/Furla Films, which has become a prolific source of financing for star-driven studio-released dramas. Oasis Ventures Entertainment already was a source of financing for an Emmett/Furla Film slate that includes the company’s biggest investment to date, the upcoming Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg-starrer 2 Guns. The new alignment was made by EFF principals Randall Emmett and George Furla, and Oasis Ventures Entertainment chairman Marwan Al Bawardi. They would not reveal the size of the Oasis ownership, but said it is significant enough that EFF is being re-branded Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films. The new partners said they will have a new fund, projected at $150 million and generating from the Middle East, to use to coin more studio-based film productions.

Emmett said the company continues with its other pool of financiers that has enabled EFF to back so many films. Emmett/Furla/Oasis will also open an outpost in Dubai, which is the home base of Oasis Ventures.

Said Oasis Ventures COO Daniel Pfeffer: “We have worked with EFF for the last year and half and are thrilled with the quality of films they produce & finance. We are committed to supporting the growth and infrastructure of EFOF. Our investment will allow EFOF to compete internationally and strengthen their studio relationships as well as co-financing partnerships.”

EFF has been around 15 years, and its recent rise coincided a … Read More »

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50 Cent Animated Comedy Nears Fox Pickup

By | Wednesday January 30, 2013 @ 2:05pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: 50 Cent is getting animated. I’ve learned that Fox is in negotiations for an animated comedy project from the rapper-actor (born Curtis Jackson), feature producer Randall Emmett, Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox TV. The untitled project, loosely based on Jackson’s childhood, is expected to receive a pilot or presentation order. Written by Carl Jones, it follows a mischievous but well-meaning boy who often tangles with his eccentric family and neighborhood. Jackson, his producing partner Andrew Jameson, Jones, Emmett  and Imagine TV’s Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo executive produce.

50 Cent’s life has already inspired a screen project, the autobiographical 2005 feature drama Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, in which 50 Cent made his acting debut as the lead. He will next be seen in The Frozen Ground and The Tomb. Emmett’s involvement in the 50 Cent Fox project stems from the duo’s long-time relationship, including a stint by Emmett running 50 Cent’s former company Cheetah Vision. The two are also executive producing Power, a drama project about a criminally-inclined New York nightclub owner, which is in development at Starz. Additionally, Emmett/Furla Films, Emmett’s company with George Furla that backs mid-budget feature films, launched a TV production division last spring. The unit’s first project, action drama Rescue 3 starring Dolph Lundgren, premieres next fall in primetime on the Tribune stations, which gave it a two-season pickup. 50 Cent is with CAA … Read More »

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Tony Scott Got Close To Production On ‘Lucky Strike’

By | Tuesday August 21, 2012 @ 8:12am PDT
Mike Fleming

I just can’t get past the shock that Tony Scott passed away and won’t be practicing his kinetic style of film making anymore. The people who worked on projects with him and are left to pick up the pieces are certainly more devastated than any fan. One film that was getting close to the starting gate was the Henry Bean-scripted Lucky Strike, an action drama in which a DEA agent teams with a drug runner to take down a drug cartel. The film had an $80 million commitment from Emmett/Furla Films, distribution from Fox and Vince Vaughn in one of the starring roles. While reports had Scott circling several other projects and even doing prep work with Tom Cruise on Top Gun 2, producer Randall Emmett told me he was confident they had a strong shot at going into production next year. That was a dream scenario, Emmett said, since the filmmaker was an idol to him.

Related: Denzel Washington Among Film Community Mourning Tragic Passing Of Tony Scott

“I was reduced to the 15 year old kid when I first met Tony last year as we were putting together Lucky Strike,” Emmett said. “I have an original Top Gun poster in my office, and his work remains one of my main inspirations. I’ll never forget at our first meeting, telling him how working with him was a dream come true, and just gushing like a … Read More »

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‘Rescue 3′ Kicks Off New TV Division For Emmett/Furla Films

By | Tuesday August 14, 2012 @ 10:06am PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Emmett/Furla Films, which has become an increasingly prolific backer of mid-budget feature films, has launched a TV production division. It kicks off with Rescue 3, a series set against the beautiful backdrop of Southern California’s world-famous beaches. Created by Gregory J. Bonann and Tai Collins of Tower 18 Productions, Rescue 3 is a one-hour action-adventure drama. Emmett/Furla principal Randall Emmett said the company, in conjunction with Envision Entertainment, will fund a full season’s worth of shows, with 22 episodes ready to air in prime time for fall, 2013.

The logline: Rescue 3 is an elite multi-agency task force in South California that encompasses lifeguard, firefighter and Coast Guard agencies. Each episode will center on big-action life-saving rescues involving all 3 services. Bonann, who exec produced Baywatch and is a 43-year vet of the L.A. County Firefighter & Lifeguard departments,  will be exec producer. Jim & John Thomas (Predator) will write alongside Collins. Casting will begin shortly.

Emmett and partner George Furla said that the transition into TV production is a logical next step for the 14-year old company. “We always knew we’d branch into TV, but we wanted to make sure the timing was right,” they said in a statement. “We applied the same financing & strategy principles we learned from making films to TV production, allowing us to greenlight this production.”

EFF and Envision Entertainment recently completed another round of funding that adds $275 million from equity … Read More »

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Michael Flannigan Tapped As Head Of Production At Emmett/Furla Films

By | Friday February 17, 2012 @ 10:24am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla Films, Randall Emmett and George Furla’s Los Angeles-based production and financing company that has been backing a widening profile of mid-budget star-driven films, has hired producer Michael Flannigan to serve as Head of Production. EFF has also promoted Brandon Grimes and Tim Sullivan to SVP and Junior Creative Executive, respectively.

The moves come as the company stakes and is producing a lot of films. They are prepping 2 Guns with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg for Universal; the Sylvester Stallone-Arnold Schwarzenegger-starrer The Tomb for Lionsgate/Summit; the romantic comedy Rule #1, with Reese Witherspoon; the action/thriller Empire State starring Dwayne Johnson and Emile Hirsch; and Lucky Strike, which is in discussions to star Vince Vaughn and be directed by Tony Scott, with EFF producing with Scott Free Productions.

EFF just wrapped the thriller Broken City with Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones, which Fox will release in January; the Stephen Frears-directed comedy Lay The Favorite with Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Zeta-Jones and Vaughn, which The Weinstein Company acquired after its Sundance premiere; the thriller Frozen Ground with John Cusack, Nicolas Cage and Vanessa Hudgens; the drama Fire With Fire with Josh Duhamel, Willis and Rosario Dawson; the action-thriller Freelancers with Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson; and the David Ayer-directed mystery crime thriller End Of Watch, with Jake Gyllanhall and Anna Kendrick with Cheetah Vision Films.

Flannigan is a veteran producer with credits that include The Black Dhalia, Read More »

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Catherine Zeta-Jones Heads To ‘Broken City’

Mike Fleming

Catherine Zeta-Jones has closed her deal to star in Broken City, joining Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe in the Allen Hughes-directed drama. Zeta-Jones will play the philandering wife of the mayor of New York (Crowe).  When a Brooklyn detective (Wahlberg) is hired by the mayor to identify his wife’s lover, and the lover turns up dead, the detective takes it personally and uncovers a wider conspiracy involving his employer. Brian Tucker wrote the script and  Randall Emmett, Stephen Levinson, Wahlberg and George Furla will produce. The $50 million film is being fully funded by Emmett/Furla Films and New Regency recently came on as producer, with Fox distributing. Shooting begins November in New York. Zeta-Jones recently completed three big films. She’s coming off the Adam Shankman-directed Rock Of Ages with Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin, starred with Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel and Dennis Quaid in Playing The Field, and starred in the Stephen Frears-directed Lay The Favorite with Bruce Willis and Vince Vaughn. She’s repped by WME.

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New Regency Joins Mark Wahlberg-Russell Crowe Drama ‘Broken City,’ Fox To Distribute

Mike Fleming

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 … Read More »

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‘Broken City’ Scribe Brian Tucker Sells Spec ‘Expiration’ To Emmett/Furla Films

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In a mid-six-figure against seven-figure deal, Emmett/Furla Films has acquired Expiration, an action script by Brian Tucker. He scripted Broken City, a drama that EFF is financing for a November 7 start date with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe starring for director Allen Hughes. Expiration will be produced by Randall Emmett, George Furla and Tucker.

An ex-CIA operative-turned-hitman is poisoned on his final job. With 20 hours to live, he is determined to find out who poisoned him, and settle the score before he dies. It’s a big-scale $50 million-plus action film. EFF will finance it, and they will go out to directors and cast quickly to start production early next year. Aside from Tucker’s Broken City, Emmett/Furla starts production October 17 on Frozen Ground, which stars John Cusack as Alaska’s most notorious serial predator, Robert Hansen. In the span of 12 years, Hansen abducted more than 24 women and flew them into the Alaskan wilderness to hunt and murder them. Nicolas Cage plays the Alaskan State trooper on his tail, and Vanessa Hudgens plays the lone victim who escaped. At the recent Toronto Film Festival, Emmett/Furla Films unveiled a $250 million film find with Stepan Martirosyan and Remington Chase’s Envision Entertainment. Tucker’s repped by WME and Management 360.

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Toronto: Vanessa Hudgens Set For ‘Frozen Ground’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In a departure from her High School Musical past, Vanessa Hudgens has been set to star alongside Nicolas Cage and John Cusack in Frozen Ground, the Emmett/Furla Films thriller that is being sold here in Toronto, with Voltage Pictures handling international sales. The film, which will begin shooting October 17 in Anchorage, Alaska, marks the feature directing debut of Scott Walker, who wrote the script.

Pic is based on true events surrounding Alaska’s most notorious serial predator, Robert Hansen. Cusack is playing Hansen, regarded in the community as a respected family man. In the span of 12 years, he abducted more than 24 women, flew them into the Alaskan wilderness, and hunted and murdered them. Hudgens will play the one teenage victim who escaped. When she returned to tell her story, nobody believed her. Cage will play the Alaskan State Trooper who finds her on the street. Together they work to bring Hansen to justice.

Frozen Ground is being produced by Randall Emmett and George Furla, along with Amber Entertainment’s Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky. Envision Entertainment’s Stephan Martirosyan and Remington Chase, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and executive producers. Emmett/Furla Films this weekend set a $250 million film find with Envision Entertainment. Hudgens is repped by CAA.

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Indie Thriller ‘Captive’ Eyes Arnold Schwarzenegger For Lead

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Days after closing a deal for The Expendables 2, Arnold Schwarzenegger is in talks to star in Captive, an action thriller that is out to directors with the intention of shooting next year. Emmett/Furla Films is financing the picture, and Randall Emmett and George Furla are producing with Groundswell’s Michael London. Benjamin van der Veen and Kario Salem wrote the script from a story by Nicolai Fuglsig. Fuglsig was originally going to direct but stepped out, and he will be exec producer with Eva Maria Daniels. Schwarzenegger is in early talks to play an American real estate magnate living in Brazil who is kidnapped and held for ransom.  As he frantically searches for a way out of his armored-truck prison cell hidden in a Sao Paolo landfill, a detective specializing in kidnap and ransom cases works to find him. Emmett/Furla earlier today announced a $250 million film fund with cash coming from Envision Entertainment. Schwarzenegger is starring in the Kim Jee-Woon-directed action film Last Stand, his first major film job after leaving as California governor and weathering a subsequent paternity scandal. Schwarzenegger is repped by CAA.

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Toronto: Emmett-Furla And Envision Set $250 Million Film Fund

Mike Fleming

Emmett/Furla Films, a company that has been growing more ambitious in the film financing and production arena, has teamed with Stepan Martirosyan and Remington Chase’s Envision Entertainment to establish a new $250 million revolving equity and debt fund to finance a new slate of star-driven commercial films. The fund was announced as EFF principal Randall Emmett comes to Toronto to make deals on films that include the Allen Hughes-directed political corruption drama Broken City, which stars Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, and Frozen Ground, the fact-based thriller about a serial killer in Alaska that will star Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. Martirosyan and Chase are executive producers on the latter.

The fund carries no set restrictions on how and where capital is allocated, but it will continue EFF’s momentum. The company recently financed the Stephen Frears-directed Lay The Favorite — with a cast that includes Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Vince Vaughn and Catherine Zeta-Jones — with films in the works that include the David Ayer-directed crime drama End of Watch with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Kendrick; Fire with Josh Duhamel, Willis and Rosario Dawson; and Freelancers, a drama that stars Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. EFF’s Emmett continues to be Jackson’s partner in Cheetah Vision Films, which has a deal at Lionsgate. EFF will make nine films this year. Read More »

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Mark Wahlberg Sets Sights On ’2 Guns’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Mark Wahlberg is in negotiations to star in 2 Guns for Universal Pictures. The pic is based on a Steven Grant graphic novel, and has a script written by Blake Masters. The graphic novel is published by Boom! Studios. Marc Platt is producing along with Boom!’s Andrew Cosby and Ross Richie. The drama is about a DEA agent and an undercover naval intelligence officer who unwittingly investigate each other as each steals mob money. This has been a studio priority for some time. David O Russell had set his sights on writing a draft with the idea he might direct it with Vince Vaughn in one of the leads. Wahlberg’s repped by WME and Leverage.

Wahlberg is locked to star alongside Russell Crowe in Broken City, the Allen Hughes-directed noir drama that will shoot in November. Wahlberg is producing that Brian Tucker-scripted project with Stephen Levinson, Randall Emmett, George Furla and Hughes and Emmett/Furla Films is financing the $60 million film. Wahlberg just completed the Baltasar Kormakur-directed drama Contraband, which he and Levinson also produced with Working Title.

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Russell Crowe Signs On For Mayoral Run In ‘Broken City’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Russell Crowe is set to star alongside Mark Wahlberg in the Allen Hughes-directed independently financed noir drama Broken City. Production begins in November. Wahlberg plays an ex-cop-turned-private detective who is hired by the mayor (the role Crowe will play) to see if his wife is cheating on him. The private eye confirms those suspicions, and when the mayor’s wife’s cheating partner ends up dead, the private eye immerses himself in the mayor’s business and uncovers a real estate scandal that involves the pol dealing himself choice city-owned properties. The script by Brian Tucker made the 2008 Black List. The $60 million film will be financed by Emmett/Furla Films.

Wahlberg is producing through his Closest to the Hole banner; Stephen Levinson through Leverage; and Randall Emmett, George Furla and Hughes are also producing. Wahlberg and Levinson, partners on Entourage and Boardwalk Empire, just wrapped the drama Contraband. Crowe is costarring as Jor-El in the Superman reboot Man of Steel and just wrapped The Man With The Iron Fists. Read More »

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Mark Wahlberg, Allen Hughes Plot Trip To ‘Broken City’

Mike Fleming

Mark Wahlberg and Allen Hughes are in early talks to team on Broken City, a noir-style drama about an ex-cop-turned-private detective who is hired by the mayor to see if his wife is cheating on him. When the mayor’s wife’s cheating partner ends up dead, the private eye immerses himself in the mayor’s business and uncovers a real estate scandal that involves dealing himself choice city-owned properties. Reps for Wahlberg and Hughes (who usually directs films with brother Albert, but each has been taking on solo projects as of late) caution that this is early going (the script had formerly been set up at Mandate), but the 2008 Black List script by Brian Tucker has now been set up to be financed by Emmett/Furla Films at a $60 million budget. Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Randall Emmett, George Furla and Hughes will be the producers.

Emmett/Furla Films just financed with Wild Bunch the Stephen Fears-directed Lay The Favorite, starring Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rebecca Hall and Vince Vaughn, is about to begin production on the $25 million Fire With Fire with Willis and Josh Duhamel, will partner with Groundswell Productions to fund Captive and is in pre-production with Exclusive Media to co-finance the David Ayer-directed Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer End of Watch. Emmett is also partnered with Curtis Jackson in Cheetah Vision, which is in the middle of Fire With Fire. Wahlberg’s repped by WME and Leverage and Hughes by WME.

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Robert De Niro Set For ‘Freelancers’ & Forest Whitaker Negotiating To Join Him

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Robert De Niro is set to star in the Jessy Terrero-directed Freelancers, and Forest Whitaker is in talks to join him and Curtis Jackson in the cop drama. The film begins production April 18 in New Orleans. Jackson plays the son of a slain NYPD officer who, with his two best friends, joins the Police Academy. After graduating, he’s taken under the wing of his father’s former partner Captain Vic Sarcone (De Niro) in the ranks of Sarcone’s Street Vice Crime Task Force and he becomes part of Scarcone’s rogue task force. Philippe Casseus wrote the script.

The film’s produced by Randall Emmett, Jackson, and George Furla. Rick Jackson, Jeff Rice, Fred Malmberg and Daniel Wagner are exec producers. De Niro has been starring in Another Bullshit Night in Suck City alongside Julianne Moore and Paul Dano for director Paul Weitz. He’s repped by CAA.

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