EXCLUSIVE: After co-financing/producing taste maker films including Black Mass, Everest, Rush, The Ides of March, and Black Swan, Cross Creek Pictures is ready to take that next step up. Cross Creek principals Timmy Thompson and Brian Oliver and Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman have shaken hands on a new three-year, multifaceted co-financing, production, and distribution deal.
Cross Creek will leave its home at Universal and the hope is to grow into a major supplier for the studio. Cross Creek’s wheelhouse has been in developing, producing and co-financing quality films with mid-range budgets that can be staples of Sony slates but free the studio up to focus on the mega budget stuff. The company has done eight films over five years whose collective gross is north of $1 billion. The Cross Creek gang worked with Rothman on the company’s first film, the sleeper blockbuster Black Swan at Fox. That working relationship rekindled at Sony with Pride and Prejudice And Zombies. Latter film went well enough that they are already discussing future installments. The deal is a broad-ranging, multi-platform arrangement with Sony; in addition to distributing Cross Creek pictures on a worldwide basis, Sony Pictures and Cross Creek will have the opportunity to co-finance certain films, originating in either pipeline.
“Sony Pictures already has an excellent working relationship with Cross Creek, and we are jazzed about the upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” Rothman said in a statement after the studio confirmed all this for Deadline. “We feel fortunate that Timmy and Brian were open to expanding their relationship with us. They have incredible taste and proven success with smart, commercial movies that serve worldwide audiences, and we know that their films will be a terrific addition to our slate.”
Said Cross Creek’s Oliver: “Tom is doing great things at Sony Pictures, remaking the slate with an eye toward global audiences. We’ve had a terrific relationship with him so far, and we know that the studio’s marketing and distribution are great and we’re excited for this opportunity and confident that Sony Pictures will be a terrific new home for our projects.”
Pride And Prejudice And Zombies stars Lily James, Sam Riley and Bella Heathcote and will be released by Screen Gems on February 5th, 2016. Cross Creek wrapped the Doug Liman-directed Mena starring Tom Cruise for January 2017 release by Universal, and is currently in production in Australia on the Mel Gibson-directed WWII film Hacksaw Ridge.
Its next film to reach the screen will be Legend, the Brian Helgeland-directed drama about the British twin terror Kray Brothers, both played by Tom Hardy. Universal releases it in the U.S. November 20. Its other films are the Liam Neeson-starrer A Walk Among The Tombstones and the Daniel Radcliffe-starrer The Woman In Black.
Ken Deutsch at Latham & Watkins negotiated on behalf of Cross Creek Pictures.