EXCLUSIVE: Original Film’s Neal H Moritz has renewed his first-look development and production deal with Columbia Pictures until 2019, extending his relationship with the Sony Pictures studio that began in 1997 when he produced I Know What You Did Last Summer. Moritz has been a major earner for the studio delivering recent hits like the Jump Street franchise, and must be a nice bit of news for Sony, which has been wading through the hack-attack morass and now has secured one of its most valuable players.
“Neal’s productivity and his success are legendary,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group chairman Amy Pascal, who unveiled the deal today. “Simply put, he’s the best there is at knowing what audiences want to see and delivering it, on time and on budget.”
The Sony-Moritz team-up has resulted in more than 25 films including the Adam Sandler smash Click, XXX, S.W.A.T., Battle: Los Angeles and The Green Hornet. He’s also behind Universal’s Fast And The Furious franchise, and altogether his more than 50 films released have grossed more than $7B in worldwide box office. His latest pic with Columbia is Goosebumps, the adaptation of Scholastic’s international bestselling book series; that Jack Black-starrer is set to bow March 23. His development slate includes 23 Jump Street; the Bourne-esque Shadow Run with Brad Anderson helming, the newly acquired sci-fi project Passengers from Doctor Strange scribe John Spaihts, Christian the Lion, the Cliffhanger remake, Rockets Red Glare, Bloodshot and A Prophet.
Moritz is also working on a I Know What You Did Last Summer remake being written by Oculus co-writer/director Mike Flanagan and partner Jeff Howard who are adapting the 1973 Lois Duncan book again.
Said Moritz: “Renewing my deal with Sony Pictures was an easy decision. SPE has been my home, and the people at the studio have been my partners from nearly the beginning of my career. I believe this is the best possible place to make movies – from the production team to the marketing and distribution teams, SPE has shown creativity and dedication in delivering films to audiences and making a mark at the top of the box office. I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate my 20th anniversary with SPE during the term of this deal.”