EXCLUSIVE: Former MTV topper Van Toffler is back in a formal relationship with the company where he spent almost three decades as an executive. MTV Entertainment Group has signed a multi-picture deal with independent studio Gunpowder & Sky, co-founded and run by Van Toffler, former CEO of Viacom Media Networks Music & Logo Group. The pact follows MTVE’s collaboration with Gunpowder & Sky on Comedy Central’s Hot Mess Holiday movie, starring Kal Penn, which was recently nominated for two NAACP awards, and signals a push in that area for the ViacomCBS division.
Under the pact, Gunpowder & Sky CEO Toffler and fellow MTV alum, David Gale, who has a producing deal with G&S, will develop comedic movies for MTV Entertainment’s portfolio of brands and platforms.
This is a familiar territory for Toffler and Gale who built MTV’s movie business with MTV Films, which Toffler launched and oversaw and Gale ran for more than 11 years. The duo released such movies as Election, Napoleon Dynamite, Varsity Blues, Hustle & Flow, The Longest Yard, Tupac: Resurrection and The Original Kings of Comedy.
“Van and David are incredible creatives and proven hit makers with great taste – we’re excited to partner with them and develop a new slate of comedic movies which I have no doubt will be hilarious and incredibly entertaining,” said Chris McCarthy, President & CEO, ViacomCBS Media Networks.
Toffler left Viacom in 2016 after 28 years. He started at MTV and grew through the ranks to President of MTV & MTV2 and ultimately CEO of Viacom Media Networks Music & Logo Group. He shepherded cult animated series Beavis and Butthead, helped usher in the docu-reality genre with The Real World, and spearheaded the launch a number of awards shows, including the VMAs, as well as several social campaigns, including VH1’s Save the Music.
“They say the perp should never return to the scene of the crime, but here I go returning to my old home that was insane enough to allow me to make diverse and outrageous comedies like The Kings of Comedy, Napoleon Dynamite, Jackass, Blades of Glory, The Longest Yard, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, Election & The Wood to name a few,” said Toffler. “So, if Chris McCarthy and the rest of the gang at ViacomCBS are silly enough to give me the keys to the car once again, how could our studio not jump on that opportunity. Strap in!”
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