The tie-up is a non-exclusive pact that will see Virgin Produced have the option to co-finance, co-produce and co-market a sequel to Columbia’s dystopian sci-fi pic with Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook. That’s of course if a sequel is warranted after the pic’s May 31 release. The deal means Virgin will also support the upcoming tentpole starring Smith and his son Jaden Smith and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, with those initiatives to be announced soon. The companies said that going forward they will look to develop film and TV properties together, in which Virgin Produced would co-produce and market across its expansive global platforms. In After Earth, a crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help. Those themes of family and Earth’s vulnerability drew the companies together. “As a company, we saw the opportunity to team up with one of the industry’s leading film and television production companies that also embraces this mission”, Virgin co-founder Jason Felts said in the deal announcement. “That’s why we’re excited to partner with Overbrook on future films.”
EXCLUSIVE: Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced is putting together The Whisky A Go Go, a drama series project about the famous Sunset Strip nightclub targeted for premium cable. Described as a rock ‘n’ roll twist on Casino and Boardwalk Empire, Whisky A Go Go will follow the story of the Maglieri family’s rise to power on the Sunset Strip as well as the stories of the artists and musicians who rocked the stage and the youth culture that called the club their home through the decades.
The Sunset Strip Whisky, which opened in January 1964, was founded by Mario Maglieri, Elmer Valentine, Phil Tanzini, Shelly Davis, and attorney Theodore Flier. The Maglieri family has owned and operated the club for three generations, and will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in January 2014.
Virgin Produced, the film and television development, packaging and production arm of the Virgin Group run by Branson’s partners Jason Felts & Justin Berfield, is the first company that has been able to secure rights to the Whisky A Go Go, with the two companies’ strong music ties playing a role in making the deal. On Whisky A Go Go, Virgin Produced has teamed with Brooklyn Weaver’s Energy Entertainment, Mozy Mosanko, Chris Tschupp and Colton Mitchell. Talks are underway with potential showrunners and directors, and the goal is to pitch the project to pay cable networks within the next month.
Global Briefs: Jennifer Lopez Joins NuvoTV, Virgin-VEVO Deal, Lionsgate-Summit In Spain, European Film Academy Noms
Jennifer Lopez Joining NuvoTV
Lopez and her Nuyorican Productions will contribute programming, work on strategy and assist in marketing the English-language cable network that’s aimed at Latino viewers, she told Bloomberg. In exchange, she’ll receive a minority stake. “I’m going to be a creative executive and part owner who will be very involved with every aspect of the network,” Lopez said. “Development, production, marketing, I’ll be involved on every side of it so we hit all the right points.” NuvoTV said last month it raised $40M from current investors Columbia Capital LLC and Rho Capital Partners and new investors Veronis Suhler Stevenson LLC and Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC. The money will be used for new shows and marketing, much of which will support Lopez’s efforts, CEO Michael Schwimmer said. NuvoTV is available in 30 million U.S. homes through pay-TV systems operated by Dish Network, AT&T, Verizon Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable.
Virgin Produced Partners With VEVO For In-Flight Programming
The deal provides the Virgin Produced Channel onboard Virgin America with VEVO music videos and original programming. Music videos from artists such as Katy Perry, Coldplay, Rihanna, will.i.am, Graffiti 6 and David Guetta are currently airing as well as an episode from the VEVO GO Shows series which features a live concert with Demi Lovato. “VEVO’s partnership with Virgin Produced brings our platform to new heights, quite literally,” said Doug McVehil, VEVO’s Senior VP, Programming, Talent & Content Operations. Each block of programming will feature a music-infused program titled VEVO Sound + City which takes Virgin Produced Channel viewers on a musical tour of one of Virgin America’s destinations. The city of San Francisco will be the first stop. The Virgin Produced Channel launched first onboard Virgin America in April.
EXCLUSIVE: The Rolling Stones and Richard Branson are teaming up again. Having released three Stones albums back in the 1990s on Virgin Records, Branson’s Virgin Produced has now acquired the rights to Robert Greenfield’s 2008 book Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones. …
E! Entertainment TV has signed multiyear first-look deal with Virgin Produced, the recently launched production arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. The pact is for reality programming. Virgin Produced’s unscripted development will be overseen by CEO Jason Felts and Chief Creative Officer Justin Berfield who were previously active in TV …
EXCLUSIVE: Richard Branson, the entrepreneur who says he is two years away from launching the commercial space travel company Virgin Galactic Airways, wants to make a movie about a guy who could certainly relate to the ambition. Branson, who this summer launched the Virgin Produced banner as a joint venture with Relativity Media, is negotiating to acquire Columbus, a script by T.S. Nowlin that has McG attached to direct a 300-style film about Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America. The script went out last week and a deal’s in the works, sources said. The pic will be produced by McG, who’s currently directing the 20th Century Fox comedy This Means War with Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy and Chris Pine.