EXCLUSIVE: The Mark Gordon Company and eOne have set a multi-year partnership with respected industry veteran Xavier Marchand who has launched UK-based film and TV development and production outfit Moonriver Content. The trio has already set its first feature project, Exposure, with Niki Caro attached to direct.
Under Moonriver, Marchand will acquire, develop and produce film and TV projects with a focus on British and European stories and talent. The move will increase the volume of UK and European projects coming to The Mark Gordon Company and eOne for financing, co-producing and distribution.
Marchand will exit his post heading up eOne’s feature film production unit to launch Moonriver, but will remain attached as a producer or executive producer on several of the company’s film projects.
The first Moonriver project, Exposure, is written by Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi and follows the story of scientist Rosalind Franklin who was instrumental in the discovery of DNA, but never got the recognition she deserved. The film is currently casting.
For The Mark Gordon Company, this represents a move towards establishing a presence in the UK and throughout Europe and further extends the capabilities of the prolific independent studio with eOne. Gordon and eOne are partnered on the anticipated Molly’s Game which is the feature directing debut of Aaron Sorkin. Gordon also has The Nutcracker for Disney and Kenneth Branagh’s Murder On The Orient Express with Fox both in production. In-development projects include the next installment of the Narnia franchise.
Gordon tells Deadline, “I think Xavier has great taste. He has been involved in so many different movies over the years and what I love about the material he’s been developing is that it’s so, so good.” This is the first deal of its kind for The Mark Gordon Company.
The projects will be British-based and more ambitious in terms of scope and budget. Marchand says, “It’s great to have a strong team in London and LA.”
Gordon adds, “We are eager to expand into Europe, and finding strong projects requires deep relationships and experience. Xavier brings a robust network to the partnership. On top of that, he’s a creative storyteller who people love to work with. We’re excited for what’s to come.”
In terms of expanding into Europe, Gordon says Marchand’s relationships “give us a leg up in our overall business in terms of being able to make European films and TV.”
Marchand has built up eOne’s film slate in London and the U.S., but tells Deadline that managing both “was becoming a stretch. We have movies to go now and I want to concentrate on that.”
He adds, “I am thrilled to launch my company to work on my own projects and continue working with all the talented partners who have entrusted eOne and me with their films. In partnership with Mark Gordon and his superb team, and with the backing of eOne, I look forward to building on these existing relationships and fostering new ones in film as well as in TV.”
Steve Bertram, who heads eOne’s global film group, says, “Xavier has done an incredible job launching our film production business and we are excited to now see him launch his new venture. With a range of quality projects already in development, Xavier is off to a running start. We look forward to making great content with Xavier and The Mark Gordon Company in the years to come.”
Marchand joined eOne in 2012 through its acquisition of Alliance Films, where he led the company’s European film business. In recent years, he’s produced Saul Dibb’s Suite Française; and was an executive producer on Tom Harper’s The Woman In Black: The Angel Of Death; Gavin Hood’s thriller Eye In The Sky, starring Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul; Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight; James Watkins’ The Woman In Black; Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet; and the second and third installments of the hit horror franchise Insidious.
Before joining Alliance Films, Marchand was a founder and director of Haystack Productions which produced David Caesar’s Dirty Deeds, as well as Olivier Assayas’ Clean and Valérie Lemercier’s Palais Royal with Catherine Deneuve.