EXCLUSIVE: Graham King and Tim Headington have made an exclusive first-look one year deal at Warner Bros, which puts GK Films back at the studio where he made Blood Diamond, the Oscar-winning The Departed, The Town and Dark Shadows. It’s also the studio that will release the Ben Affleck-directed Argo, which was one of the standout films that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. GK co-financed that film and King is executive producer. King’s move is a surprise but an even bigger one is that he’s bringing Jersey Boys with him.
King had a four-picture put deal at Sony Pictures, which released the Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie-starrer The Tourist. Sony is where he originally set Jersey Boys, the movie based on the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. King is moving that film–which will be directed by Jon Favreau–over to Warner Bros to be first film under this new deal. I’m told that though it is a plum project–the stage musical is a giant hit–GK and Sony didn’t see eye to eye over the budget and that is why the project is moving.
Jersey Boys will begin production in January and Warner Bros will release it Christmas, 2013. GK had a tough run in late 2011, where films like the Martin Scorsese-directed Hugo and In the Angelina Jolie-directed In The Land Of Blood And Honey got accolades but didn’t make enough money. King is a filmmaker at heart, and I believe he just felt most comfortable at Warner Bros, where he has a very close relationship with Jeff Robinov. And Argo has the makings of a big Oscar season hit. I will provide more details when I get them.