Two months after former New Regency president and CEO Brad Weston launched Makeready, his Entertainment One-backed independent studio and financier for film, television and branded content, he has tapped HBO-Cinemax executive Scott Nemes to head the company’s television division, which continues to build its development slate and package existing TV series projects with A-list talent.
Makeready has tapped Fifty Shades and The Fall leading man Jamie Dornan to star in and executive produce a David James Kelly drama produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson’s Appian Way. The company also is bringing in Gore Verbinski to direct comic book adaptation Old City Blues and has assigned Sex and the City alumna Amy Harris to write Catching Out, executive produced by Chloe Grace Moretz .
Reporting to Makeready CEO Weston, Nemes will oversee all aspects of the company’s television development, financing and acquisitions for premium cable, OTT and emerging platforms. Nemes comes from Cinemax where he served as SVP, shepherding the slate of original drama series that rebranded the HBO sister network, including Banshee, The Knick, Outcast and Quarry.
“Scott is a wildly important hire for us as making high quality television is a priority and a major driving force of our business plan,” Weston said. “Our goal is to work with great talent and match what we have done historically and what we plan to do on the feature side – make bold choices, support talent and hope the ideas cut through and find an audience. Scott has fantastic taste and I am confident he will make this happen.”
Makeready is funding television development and is prepared to deficit finance its shows, with eOne handling the international distribution of television content, but the company plans to be very flexible in its dealmaking, doing what is necessary to get shows made. It is open to co-producing with the networks it sells projects to, and while the emphasis is on straight-to-series orders, Makeready could also occasionally finance a pilot.
Here are Makeready’s shows in the works, which reflect its curated approach to TV development and build on Weston’s feature relationships. Weston is reteaming with Appian Way following their collaboration on The Revenant and with Verbinski, whom Weston signed into a deal at New Regency and developed several movies with, including the 2016 A Cure For Wellness.
Makeready’s slate includes an Untitled David James Kelly project (fka Saigon) with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson’s Appian Way which will be toplined and executive produced by Jamie Dornan, star of Appian Way’s upcoming feature Robin Hood, and written by David James Kelly, who will also executive produce.
Makeready is negotiating with a network on a TV series based on the best-selling novel They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery which will be adapted and executive produced by LaToya Morgan (Into the Badlands, Turn). It chronicles the formation of the black lives matter movement while also offering a historically informed look at the standoff between the police and those they are sworn to protect.
The company recently acquired a manuscript by journalist Karla Cornejo Villavicencio called Undocumented America, which will be published by Spiegel & Grau in fall 2018. It weaves together multiple heartbreaking and uplifting storylines of undocumented immigrants across America.
Additionally, Black List screenwriter Arash Amel is writing a pilot script for Old City Blues, based on the Boom graphic novel. Makeready is in talks with Oscar-winning director Gore Verbinski to direct as well as executive produce alongside Stephen Christy, Ross Ritchie and Amel.
Makeready also just closed a deal with The Carrie Diaries developer Amy Harris to write/executive produce Catching Out, a TV series which is being developed with executive producer Chloe Grace Moretz. It takes a genuine look at very specific lifestyles of late teens and early twenty-somethings.
In addition to Weston, Nemes joins executive Pam Abdy who oversees Makeready’s worldwide theatrical distribution deal with Universal Pictures and eOne.
“I’m excited to get back to my entrepreneurial roots and to start this venture with Brad and the very talented Pam Abdy,” Nemes said. “We have all the tools we need to try to build Makeready into a supplier of great television.”
Before joining Cinemax in 2011, Nemes served as SVP of Production and Development for financing/production company The Film Department and as SVP for Adelstein Productions, where he headed the film division and served as co-executive producer for Catcher is a Spy, executive producer for Black Christmas, and producer of The Experiment and Hanna. He will also serve as executive producer for Amazon’s upcoming series adaptation of Hanna. Nemes’ resume also includes stints as VP, Development for Immortal Entertainment, overseeing such projects as Kiss of the Dragon, Life Without Dick and Searching for Debra Winger and as development executive for directors James Mangold and Penny Marshall.