Joel Silver is teaming with Canadian entrepreneur Daryl Katz to form Silver Pictures Entertainment, a new company that will develop, produce and provide or arrange financing for its own slate of feature films, TV and digital projects. Running the company as CEO will be Hal Sadoff, the former ICM film finance agent-turned-producer who has worked with Silver on such pics as House On Haunted Hill, Gothika and most recently Silver Pictures’ The Nice Guys.
Under the deal, Silver — whose producing credits included iconic franchises The Matrix, Lethal Weapon and Die Hard — will continue with projects he set up during his longstanding relationship with Warner Bros. The two have several projects in development already including a third Sherlock Holmes movie, a sequel to Project X, Logan’s Run, Ben 10 and the Ross MacDonald adaptation The Galton Case.
The Nice Guys, starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, is in post-production and Warners has set a May 20, 2016 release date.
Katz’s Katz Group has operations in pharmacy, sports and entertainment, and real estate development. He owns the Edmonton Oilers and is building a $2.5 billion arena and entertainment venue in downtown Edmonton. As part of the SPE venture the company will help enhance and expand that group’s entertainment platform.
“Daryl Katz is an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word. I’ve watched him build brands, sports teams and multibillion-dollar businesses with vision and drive, and that’s someone I want by my side,” Silver said in a statement. “Daryl’s expressed interest is to enhance his sport and entertainment division with significant entertainment properties and it’s really exciting for me to be with him on that journey.”
Sadoff was Head of International and Media Finance at ICM Partners before exiting in 2012. The former investment banker at Cobalt Media Group and the London-based National Westminster Bank played a role in putting together more than 400 films, with budgets totaling over $3.5 billion. He was an executive producer on Hotel Rwanda.
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Hal for 15 years on multiple motion pictures, but only recently began working with him on the next chapter of Silver Pictures,” said Silver. “There’s no one with more experience or better equipped to be our CEO or to lead the great team of people we have on board here.”
Current Silver execs Ethan Erwin (EVP Production), Aaron Auch (SVP Production) and Sarah Meyer (SVP Production) will remain and continue to oversee production and development. The company plans to move into the Venice Post Office building in 2016 after a four-year restoration.
In addition to Nice Guys, Silver Pictures is in preproduction on The Outsider, starring Jeremy Renner and directed by Tom Green. Among other projects in development it has a redo of the 1985 pic Weird Science and Gypsy with Barbra Streisand attached.