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The Horse’s Mouth: Joe Biden, ‘Pets’ Project & Windows 95

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 1:56pm PST

The Horses MouthYears ago when working at the trades, one of the most popular features we did was The Horse’s Mouth, where we collected comments and unusual conversations we had with people across the film and TV industries and shared them with our readers. We’ll never tell, but you know who you are:
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Joe BidenDeadline Commenter: I have three words for that: Joe Biden.
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Reporter: I left a message for Sanford [Panitch], too.
Assistant: The name of the movie is Sanford 2?
Reporter: No, Sanford Panitch. He works at Fox with you.
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Fox 2000 EVP Carla Hacken Becomes New Regency Production President

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Longtime Fox 2000 EVP Carla Hacken is leaving the studio to become president of production for New Regency. It is the latest move in a restructuring of the company since Arnon Milchan reemerged as an active chairman and installed former Paramount Pictures production president Brad Weston as CEO with a mandate to become a more filmmaker-driven concern.

New Regency is partly owned by News Corp, whose 20th Century Fox distributes and often co-finances Regency-generated films. The move was orchestrated with the cooperation of Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman and Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler.

“Jim, Tom and Liz have been great partners and are incredibly gracious about Carla,” Weston told me in confirming the move. “They see this as a terrific opportunity for her, and a great way to help support New Regency. Arnon and I couldn’t be more appreciative.”

Hacken was an ICM agent when she was brought into the Fox 2000 fold 15 years ago by Laura Ziskin. She has worked closely with Gabler and developed such films as Unfaithful, The Devil Wears Prada, Walk The Line, Bride Wars, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and its sequel, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Love & Other Drugs and In Her Shoes.

There has long been a tradition of cross pollination between Fox and New Regency (which is based on the lot). That includes Sanford Panitch (who moved from Fox to Regency and now steers Fox International Productions) … Read More »

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Former Paramount Production President Brad Weston In Talks For New Regency CEO

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Hours after Deadline revealed the impending exit of New Regency chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker, I’m told that former Paramount Pictures production president Brad Weston is in deep negotiations to run the production/financing company as president/CEO. That is a position similar to the one held by Sanford Panitch before he left to run Fox International Productions. The chairman post that will be vacated by Harper and Parker will be filled by majority owner Arnon Milchan, who is really planning to roll up his sleeves and become way more involved than he has been in the past few years.

Weston is an experienced production executive who, before Paramount, ran Dimension Films with Andrew Rona, (who after starting the Rogue genre label for Universal is currently running Joel Silver’s company at Warner Bros). The big question is whether Milchan will be willing to put ain the time and the daily grind that is necessary to run a major production/financing company like New Regency, where Harper and Parker oversaw everything from production to marketing, distribution and the library. Rupert Murdoch tried a hands on approach years ago after Barry Diller left, but it is a tough thing to sustain when there are other businesses to run. Of course, Milchan owns 80% of New Regency (Fox is a part owner of the company), so he has the right to run things if … Read More »

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Fox Home Entertainment Launches World Cinema Video Label

Mike Fleming

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has formed Fox World Cinema, an outlet that will put prestige films from around the world out on DVD, VOD and Digital Download. It sounds like a welcome option for all those films that get great festival response but don’t quite justify the P&A spend necessary for a theatrical release. The initial slate will include The Yellow Sea, the Korean film that will screen at Cannes this month in the Un Certain Regard program; The Butcher, The Chef and the Swordsman, the Chinese film that premiered at 2010 Toronto Film Festival; the Indian film Dum Maaro Dum, and Vallanzasca: Angel of Evil, the Italian film that played at Venice and other festivals.

“Fox has always championed films that transcend language and social differences,” said Sanford Panitch, president of Fox International Productions. “In recent years, American audiences have embraces successful foreign films such as Pan’s Labyrinth and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The universal themes represented with Fox World Cinema will be appreciated by film lovers everywhere.” The new label will work in tandem with Fox International Productions.

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Fox International Acquires Worldwide Rights To Viggo Mortensen-Starrer ‘Everybody Has A Plan’

Mike Fleming

LOS ANGELES, CA May 5, 2011 – Sanford Panitch, President of Fox International Productions, announced today that Fox International Productions has brokered a deal for the worldwide rights to EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN starring Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Soledad Villamil (The Secret in Their Eyes) in the feature film directorial debut of writer/director Ana Piterbarg. The film, which will be distributed by Twentieth Century Fox in Spain and Argentina, will be introduced to select international distributors for the first time at the Marché Du Film at the Cannes Film Festival by Fox International Productions’ Senior Vice President of Sales Shebnem Askin-Schreger.

EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN tells the story of Agustín (Mortensen), a man desperate to abandon what he gradually has come to feel is an unfulfilling existence after years of living in Buenos Aires. Following the death of his identical twin brother Pedro, Agustín sets out to begin his life anew by assuming Pedro’s identity and returning to the mysterious Tigre Delta region where the brothers had spent their childhood. Soon after his homecoming, however, Agustín finds himself unwittingly embroiled in the deadly criminal underworld that his brother had been part of.

The film is set against the peculiar landscape of the Tigre Delta, a maze of islands and rivers that once served as a recreational playground for the Buenos Aires elite, where one can still find French- and English-style mansions flanking the Delta’s waterways as

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Jim Gianopulos/Tom Rothman Form New Unit, Fox International Productions; Panitch Leaves Regency To Head FIP

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Sanford Panitch has left Regency to run Fox International Productions (FIP), a newly formed international production umbrella unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment that will produce, acquire and distribute local language films around the globe. Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen/CEOs, Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman made the announcement today. Panitch was prez of filmed entertainment for New Regency (a partnership with News Corporation and Twentieth Century Fox) and now becomes prez of the Los Angeles-based FIP, reporting to Rothman and Gianopulos. The press release says FIP will oversee production activities already in progress in Japan, Germany, Russia and India, and will expand Fox’s local productions in these and other markets in the future. FIP will work closely with Fox’s other production divisions and partners and also will tap into its News Corp sister companies, including STAR, SKY and MySpace, among others. The endeavor also will coordinate efforts with Fox International, run by co-presidents Tomas Jegeus and Paul Hanneman.  Fox International will handle all marketing and distribution for FIP. Panitch was at New Regency for the past seven years, moving from Twentieth Century Fox where he last served as executive vice president of production.

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