EXCLUSIVE: Narcos executive producer and showrunner Eric Newman and I, Tonya producer Bryan Unkeless have joined forces to form Screen Arcade. Their new producing shingle will be berthed at Netflix in a multi-year first-look feature deal. This comes after the duo teamed to produce Bright, which became the first original feature franchise launch for Netflix.
Newman and Unkeless have named Scott Morgan as EVP of Screen Arcade. Morgan was co-producer on I, Tonya.
The Netflix deal follows the success of the David Ayer-directed Bright, the streaming service’s sci-fi thriller starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton. The first producing projects for Screen Arcade will be the Bright sequel that Ayer is writing to direct, as well as Power, a sci-fi script written by Mattson Tomlin that will be directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman.
This is the third recent overall feature deal made by Netflix, which separately pacted with Planet of the Apes and Batman director Matt Reeves and his 6th & Idaho, and with Ian Bryce Productions, after Bryce produced the Brad Pitt-starrer War Machine for Netflix. Netflix just prevailed in a wild auction for the Matthew Baker futuristic short story Life Sentence, with 6th & Idaho the producers. As Netflix continues to build ambitious film slates, these producers will keep busy as they inject quality control into Netflix’s voluminous movie output.
“Bryan and Eric have been amazing partners and are exactly the type of creative talents we want to be in business with,” said Netflix film group head Scott Stuber in confirming the alliance. “They have great instincts and they love making movies. We had a great experience with them on Bright and are excited to get going on Power and the Bright sequel.”
Newman and Unkeless said they were “thrilled to formalize an already wonderful relationship with one of the most innovative entertainment companies in the world. We love Scott and his team and appreciate their commitment to building the most diverse film slate in the business. No other company out there is making such a wide a range of exciting filmmaker driven content, and we are honored to be their partners.
Newman has a long track record as an exec-turned producer and writer. His credits include the Alfonso Cuaron-directed Children of Men, the Zack Snyder-directed Dawn of the Dead, The Last Exorcism and In Time. Newman’s first project with Netflix was Hemlock Grove, the second original program that Netflix produces. That followed with the global hit series Narcos, on which Newman is now writer and showrunner, in addition to executive producer, which he has been since the series’ inception.
Unkeless most recently produced I, Tonya, the Craig Gillespie-directed black comedy that is nominated for three Oscars including Best Actress for Margot Robbie, and Best Supporting Actress for Allison Janney. Aside from Bright, he produced for Netflix First Match, which premieres shortly at SXSW and gets released on Netflix March 30. Unkeless was a co-producer on The Hunger Games franchise, which he shepherded during his nine year stint at Nina Jacobson’s Color Force.