EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 has inked a first-look deal with Brian Kavanaugh-Jones’ Automatik. The deal is the latest from Robinov’s upstart production banner as it continues to build up its slate and partnerships with filmmakers. Kavanaugh-Jones most recently completed the horror film Insidious: Chapter 3, directed by Leigh Whannell, and Autobahn with Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley. The latter film is co-produced with the UK’s production and management banner 42.
Kavanaugh-Jones has produced or exec produced more than 25 movies in the past four years, including Midnight Special directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Adam Driver and Michael Shannon. The film will be released domestically by Warner Bros on November 25.
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“Jeff has impeccable taste and a brilliant background helping build the careers of some of the most visionary filmmakers working today,” said Kavanaugh-Jones. Added Robinov. “Brian and Automatik share our approach to making filmmaker-driven movies, and we look forward to building a slate with them.”
The Automatik deal reps Studio 8’s third first-look arrangement after similar deals with LBI and former BFI Film Fund chief Tanya Seghatchian. Last year, Automatik left of its joint venture with IM Global and eOne to form a partnership with newly established management company Grandview with CAA lit agent Matt Rosen and manager Jeff Silver. Kavanaugh-Jones advises Grandview clients on production and packaging. The trio first met while working at CAA, where Rosen and Silver were in the film lit department and Kavanaugh-Jones was in film finance and sales.
Studio 8 is funded in partnership with Chinese investment management firm Fosun Group and with Sony Pictures Entertainment, which will distribute up to six films worldwide annually. Studio 8 has secured $1 billion in financing. The company is in production on Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk with The Ink Factory.
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