EXCLUSIVE: Fred Berger is joining Brian Kavanaugh-Jones’ Automatik as a partner. The move cements the duo’s close working relationship. They will focus on filmmaker-driven prestige films as well as high-end commercial fare. The move also gives Berger, who has Damien Chazelle musical La La Land starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone coming out later this year, access to management company Grandview’s growing roster of talent. Grandview is a partner org with Automatik advising on film production and packaging. Berger and Kavanaugh-Jones will retain their current projects and jointly produce going forward.
The duo’s first project together, The Titan, is currently in production starring Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling and Tom Wilkinson, directed by Lennart Ruff. They also have several high-profile projects in development including Eichmann, directed by Chris Weitz for MGM on fast track to start shooting in the fall, and Battle For Alcatraz for Paramount.
Kavanaugh-Jones has two Jeff Nichols films out this year: Midnight Special for Warner Bros, starring Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton, and Loving, again starring Edgerton and Ruth Nagga. Focus picked up the latter in a splashy Berlin deal. Kavanaugh-Jones also has action thriller Collide with Nicholas Hoult out through Open Road in the fall, and Sandcastle with Henry Cavill and Hoult again currently in postproduction. Automatik’s first television series, Beyond, will premiere this year on Freeform.
“I’m thrilled about this new partnership and the value it will bring to our future projects,” Kavanaugh-Jones told Deadline. “Our goal is to build a dynamic filmmaker focused company, and Fred’s impeccable taste, strong relationships, and depth of experience fit perfectly.”
“I’ve always had tremendous respect for Brian,” added Berger. “Being in the trenches with him on The Titan has only deepened that admiration, and I couldn’t be more excited to join forces and start Automatik’s next chapter together.”