EXCLUSIVE: German major Leonine is extending its long-term partnership with Los Angeles-based industry vet Thomas Augsberger and his Eden Rock Media banner via a multi-year consulting deal.
Eden Rock Media will continue to advise Leonine on licensing U.S.-produced features and series for German-speaking territories and continue to work on third-party TV acquisitions for Leonine’s English-language international sales division.
The new agreement is the latest iteration of Augsberger’s 22-year partnership with the media company that initially began with TMG, which was acquired by KKR-backed Leonine two years ago.
Starting in Cannes 2019, Augsberger worked with Leonine’s CEO Fred Kogel, COO Dr. Markus Frerker and SVP Acquisitions Alexander Janssen to establish the distributor as a major European buyer. Augsberger consulted on high-profile all-rights acquisitions for German-speaking Europe such as Roland Emmerich’s and AGC Studios‘ Moonfall, which was later acquired for the U.S. by Lionsgate; Solstice Studios’ Russell Crowe-starrer Unhinged; STX’s Hustlers; and Lionsgate’s Knives Out.
During the American Film Market, Augsberger worked on the acquisitions of FilmNation’s Channing Tatum starrer Dog, co-written and to be co-directed by Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin; and The Plane, which is to be produced by Lorenzo DiBonaventura and Marc Butan with G-Base’s Gerard Butler, who will also star. Recent Cannes virtual market acquisitions included eOne/Sierra-Affinity’s Arthur the King with Mark Wahlberg set to star.
Fred Kogel, CEO of Leonine said: “I’ve known Thomas for more than 20 years and it has been a great pleasure to work with him over the last few months. We are happy that we could extend our partnership with Thomas. His excellent relationships across the industry make him a valued partner in growing Leonine’s business and in living up to our ambition to inspire viewers with premium content.“
Augsberger added: “For Fred and Markus to extend Leonine’s consulting and co-production relationship with Eden Rock at the height of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic as our industry experiences unprecedented change, demonstrates our joint conviction that opportunities outweigh challenges in this marketplace. I am grateful for Fred, Markus, Leonine, and their affiliates in Munich and Cologne for their trust in me as their overall North American representative. I am excited to continue to accomplish great things together.”
News of the deal comes just as growing indie studio Leonine completes production on new 10-part international action series Professionals, starring Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), Tom Welling (Smallville), Elena Anaya (Wonder Woman), Saïd Taghmaoui (John Wick 3) Ken Duken (Inglourious Basterds), Lisa Loven Kongsli (Wonder Woman) and August Wittgenstein (The Crown).
The Ireland-South Africa co-pro series is the first to complete for Leonine’s world sales unit, which has been adding co-production projects to its development slate since the start of the year.
International distribution partners include Viaplay in Scandinavia, German broadcaster RTLZWEI and TNT for German pay-TV rights.
Set against a backdrop of international espionage and corporate sabotage in the 21st century’s privately funded space race, the show stars Welling as a hardened former counterintelligence officer, Captain Vincent Corbo. After their advanced medical satellite explodes on deployment, billionaire futurist Peter Swann (Fraser) and his fiancée, medical visionary Dr. Graciela “Grace” Davila (Anaya), turn to Corbo, who assembles a team of experienced professionals to investigate the incident. They learn that a combination of Swann’s business rivals, corrupt government officials and a shadowy crime syndicate could be behind the attack and represent a continued threat. Duken plays a Europol agent seeking to thwart the security team’s efforts.
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