Transatlantic producer-distributor Entertainment One and Comcast-owned Universal have put their weight behind a new content creation company from New Regency CEO Brad Weston.
Culver City-based Makeready will aim at developing and producing original films and TV series for premium cable, OTT and emerging platforms worldwide.
eOne, which has an option to acquire 100% of the business in the future, will sell Makeready’s TV programming on the international market, and is funding the company’s launch.
Series in development include Saigon, a show from Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson’s Appian Way and writer David James Kelly.
There are also plans to adapt New York Times bestseller They Can’t Kill Us, which is about the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement, into a limited series, while Hollywood Black List screenwriter Arash Amel is attached to an adaptation of Boom! Graphic novel Old City Blues.
Hollywood star Chloë Grace Moretz, meanwhile, is attached as executive producer to a “genuine and experiential series about late teens and twenty-year-olds”.
Weston is best known as president and CEO of US-based New Regency, which is behind films such as 12 Years a Slave, Birdman and The Revenant, and operates New Regency Television.
He has left his post to launch Makeready, with Universal Pictures, which is part of NBCUniversal, through a five-year film distribution and marketing agreement.
Weston’s former president of production at New Regency, Pam Abdy, will lead Makeready’s executive team, with a process to hire TV, film and digital executives underway.
Weston was also president of production at Paramount Pictures, where he oversaw films such as Star Trek, Cloverfield and Shutter Island.
“I learned a long time ago in this business, that it’s all about the talent, and that’s never been more true than it is today,” said Weston. “Assembling the best filmmakers, show runners, writers and actors is crucial in order to break through the noise and grab people with something truly bold and original.
“The only way to make that impact is to collaborate with people with singular visions and that are strong enough to execute.
“At Regency, our mandate was to work with great directors whose films should be made independently but also warranted worldwide studio distribution. That proved to work out really well, and so with Makeready it will be that same approach applied to film, television, and digital content.”
“We are thrilled to support Brad on the launch of his new company,” said eOne CEO Darren Throop (pictured). “We have always been impressed by his incredible track record of delivering compelling content that is as commercially successful as it is award-worthy, and we are excited to be able to deliver that content to audiences around the world.”
Bank JPMorgan Chase is leading the production facility for the new enterprise, which is fully funded for the development and financing of premium content.
Evolution Media, a media- and sport-focused merchant bank, orchestrated the deal.