Rick Benattar and Nigel Thomas have launched a new Los Angeles-based feature and TV production company, Benattar/Thomas Productions, with three films in an output deal with XLrator Media already done shooting and slated for 2016 release.
The new outfit will focus on innovative and commercially driven material across a range of budgets and genres. Benattar and Thomas’ credits as indie producers show off the success of the model. Benattar’s pics with stints at Lorimar, Angry Films and Thunder Road include The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell, Shoot ‘Em Up, Real Steel, Clash Of The Titans and the Transformers series. His own company, Mythic International Entertainment, produced 2011’s Ironclad, starring Paul Giamatti, James Purefoy, Brian Cox and Kate Mara, and its 2014 sequel.
Thomas, who founded successful UK-based Matador Pictures in 1999, has produced more than 70 feature and TV films, starting with his first, 1995’s Mad Dogs And Englishmen starring Elizabeth Hurley. His recent credits include John Ridley’s Jimi: All Is By My Side, web and TV series Streetfighter: Assassin’s Fist and Andrew Hulme’s Un Certain Regard pic Snow In Paradise.
The XLrator pics, part of a deal sealed at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, include time-travel thriller Paradox starring Zoe Bell and Malik Yoba, which has been delivered; The Last Heist, directed by Mike Mendez and starring Henry Rollins, is in post; and the company just wrapped production on The Fixer, an action thriller starring Black Sails‘ Tom Hopper shot on location in Ireland.
“We are thrilled to start this new chapter in our careers,” Benattar said. “Nigel and I are not only producers but filmmakers who are deeply involved in our films from inception and production all the way to delivery. We hope this new company is a haven of creativity for writers and directors and an opportunity for their visions to become reality in a short time frame. We’ve made three films in eight months so the process from script to screen is very fluid.”
Said Thomas: “This is an exciting step forwards and a welcome return to hands-on filmmaking. Our combined years in the business means that between us we have in-depth expertise in all facets of the process — from development and production to financing and distribution. We know how to protect and nurture the creative process, at the same time delivering product that is commercially relevant and that punches above its weight in terms of budget and production value.”