EXCLUSIVE: Greg Silverman’s Stampede has hired JP Sarni as Head of Worldwide Content Acquisitions, a role in which he’ll negotiate deals and oversee the development of all IP for the film & TV production label, working closely with the former Warner Bros. Pictures president who serves as the company’s CEO, Co-Chairman and founder.
Sarni was previously the Head of Development at Laurence Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Productions, in which he served as an executive on ABC’s Black-ish and Freeform’s Grown-ish in addition to other projects under their first-look deals with ABC Studios and eOne. Sarni started his career in development at HBO, before moving on to Sam Martin’s aid+abet as an executive working on such films as Dee Rees’ Pariah (Sundance 2011) and Una Noche (Berlinale 2012). Sarni also formerly served as VP of Development & Literary Acquisitions at Sonar Entertainment.
“We are beyond thrilled to have JP join the Stampede team,” said Silverman. “He has impeccable taste and a sharp eye for unearthing creative content in the marketplace.”
Additionally, Stampede announced today the acquisition of two novels for development: James Riley’s middle grade fantasy series, Revenge of Magic from Simon & Schuster’s Aladdin Books, and Minnie Darke’s twisted romantic comedy Star-Crossed from Penguin Random House.
Revenge of Magic follows Fort Fitzgerald, a young boy born after “Discovery Day”, when long-dead magical creatures are unearthed all around the world, each buried with a book of magic. After a devastating attack that kills his father, Fort is sent to the mysterious, government-run Oppenheimer School to learn magic from those same books as only children have the ability to unlock the dangerous power they hold within.
Star-Crossed, is a romantic comedy, that follows a magazine journalist who makes a few small alterations to the copy for Aquarius in her publication’s horoscopes to get the romantic attention of her old friend, Nick, a true believer in the stars. Her actions result in far-reaching and unintended ripple effects.
Projects previously announced on Stampede’s development slate includes the female-driven horror thriller This Red Fire from Nicolina Torres as well as the Walter Cronkite/JFK drama Newsflash from director David Gordon Green.