EXCLUSIVE: Morgan Creek Productions has hired investment banking group Houlihan Lokey to sell domestic rights to its library of 78 films that includes such comedy classics as the Major League and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective series, the gritty True Romance from Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino, the Daniel Day Lewis-starrer The Last Of The Mohicans, and the Kevin Costner-starring Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. The advantage of their film library is that it is loaded with a lot of family-friendly product.
Morgan Creek is currently producing Tupac, the biopic about rapper Tupac Shakur who rose to great heights before being gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. As part of any sale, Morgan Creek would retain remake rights for five titles — Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Major League, Young Guns, Flying Tigers and The Exorcist franchise — but pay a percentage of the gross profit to the new owner of the library. The company will also retain TV rights.
The company is completely debt-free. Hence, the money that comes from sale of the library will go back into its film production fund. “I’m selling the library strictly for economic reasons,” Morgan Creek CEO Jim Robinson told Deadline. “It will go back into the company to fund more production. We have a number of properties that we are looking to move forward on.” Hmmm, could a remake of Major League and Ace be in the works? “Yes,” said Robinson, who said that ideas are being tossed right now for both those and The Exorcist.
Morgan Creek was co-founded by Robinson and Joe Roth in 1988. Roth even directed a film through the company back in 1989, Coupe de Ville, which starred a very young Patrick Dempsey and Daniel Stern. In fact, Morgan Creek employed many young actors and actresses before they were big movie stars; the film that launched Jim Carrey’s career, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, was done at Morgan Creek and released in 1994. The Young Guns movies were typical of the company picking young talent and allowing them space to flourish. That one starred Emilio Estevez, Lou Diamond Phillips, Dermut Mulroney and Keifer Sutherland.
In October 2014, Morgan Creek sold off its international distribution rights to Revolution Studios, which Roth founded and then sold to Fortress Investment Group, which manages billions in assets. That deal was done for $36.75 million for 64 titles. At that point, Morgan Creek retained the domestic distribution rights, so the company is selling the rights available.