BREAKING: I’m told that producer Scott Rudin’s move to Sony Pictures is upon us. He’s closed a three-year first look deal with the studio. From last year’s Best Picture nominee The Social Network to the upcoming Brad Pitt-starrer Moneyball and the David Fincher-directed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, to the upcoming Somali Pirates Tom Hanks-starrer A Captain’s Duty that will be directed by Paul Greengrass and Cleopatra with Fincher directing Angelina Jolie starring, Rudin is already in the middle of some of Amy Pascal’s most ambitious projects.
Rudin’s deal has been at Disney for several years but it was settled out. It became clear his films didn’t fit into the family film profile that the studio was pursuing under Rich Ross and Sean Bailey. When Disney sold Miramax Films, Rudin began making movies all over town. Now Rudin, who just won the Tony Award for Best Musical for The Book Of Mormon, has a new home. He’ll remain in his New York offices, but the deal gives him the latitude to continue to buy material as aggressively as he is accustomed to being. He’s known for moving quickly in that regard, often buying literary properties when they are in the most nascent stages if he believes in the authors.
It has been clear for some time this move would be happening. Deadline told you in February that Rudin had streamlined his operation and shuttered his Los Angeles office, content to do it all from Gotham as he prepared to make the Sony move.
His Sony deal won’t be exclusive, because he could likely fill every slot on Pascal’s slate with all the quality projects he generates. He is a natural fit for Sony Pictures and Pascal because he is a filmmaker-driven producer who prizes literature as source material, qualities she has as well. Among the other films he’s got going right now are Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the 9/11-themed drama that stars Hanks and Sandra Bullock, with Warner Bros just dating the film December Oscar season release; the Sacha Baron Cohen-starrer The Dictator, which is in production now for Paramount; the Wes Anderson-directed Moonrise Kingdom for Focus Features; and the Noah Baumbach-directed While We’re Young. Aside from The Book Of Mormon, Rudin produced the Broadway productions of House of Blue Leaves with Ben Stiller and Edie Falco, Motherfucker With the Hat with Chris Rock, and the Olivier Award-winning Jerusalem. And he’s already started lining up next season with a revival of Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth to star Nicole Kidman and James Franco in the fall. Rudin also made an HBO deal for More As This Story Develops, a pilot about cable news that re-teams him with The Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin.