Sharing three Hangovers with anybody is rarely a good experience. But for director Todd Phillips and Bradley Cooper, the aftermath of their experience is to pool their resources and form a new unnamed production company in a three-year deal at Warner Bros. That’s where Phillips has been a fixture at Green Hat, and where Cooper is also based under his increasingly prolific 22nd & Indiana Pictures banner. They hatched the company with Warner Bros president Greg Silverman, and it might well be the most formidable pairing of an actor and director since Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney had the WB-based Section Eight. Insiders said that the new partners grew very close, and that Cooper has used him as a soundboard as his own producing volume has increased. They are expected to redouble their efforts and become very active as producers in films Cooper will also sometimes star in and which Phillips will direct.
The first film they will make under the new banner is Arms & The Dude, which has Phillips directing and Jonah Hill circling the role as one of two stoners who become arms dealers for the U.S., get a $300 million contract and find themselves in danger abroad and in trouble back home because they were completely out of their depth. The pic is based on a Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson and Phillips has been working on it for years under his Green Hat banner. Mark Gordon is also producing and Bryan Zuriff exec producing. Jason Smilovic is writing the script. Lawson is repped by Hotchkiss & Associates.
Through his own shingle, Cooper is right now producing and starring in American Sniper, playing Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL who racked up the most confirmed kills in combat, and who was tragically gunned down by a fellow vet taking part in a program Kyle led for PSTD-suffering vets. Clint Eastwood is directing. That film is in production right now. At Warner Bros, Phillips produced The Hangover trilogy and Due Date, which he also directed, as well as the low-budget hit Project X. His run there is best remembered for gambling on the cast he wanted — Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms — and become an equity player in the movie instead of cashing his usual low-seven-figure paycheck. He made one of the biggest paydays a director not named Spielberg has ever gotten, with his profits pushing past $50 million. They are both repped by CAA with Phillips lawyered by Warren Dern. They put the deal together.