Warner Bros. has reupped its first-look film deal with producer Dan Lin. While the previous deal was under Lin Pictures, the new pact is now with the producer’s Rideback which will be known as a next-generation production company focused on filmmaker collaboration.
The deal keeps Rideback in the Warner Bros. fold as a supplier of both live-action and animated features. Lin’s 10-year association with the studio has spawned franchises such as The LEGO Movie (in conjunction with Roy Lee and Phil Lord & Chris Miller), Sherlock Holmes (in conjunction with producers Team Downey, Joel Silver and Lionel Wigram) and It (in conjunction with Roy Lee, Barbara Muschietti, and Seth Grahame-Smith & David Katzenberg). To date, the company’s films have combined for more than $3 billion at the global B.O.
The first-look deal also coincides with the formal opening of Rideback Ranch, the new creative campus located in Historic Filipinotown launched by Lin to bring together diverse storytellers in a unique setting to inspire collaboration and innovation. In addition to housing the Rideback production company, the Ranch is the new home of the Warner Animation Group’s LEGO production team, Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Lord Miller, David Ayer and Chris Long’s new Cedar Park Entertainment, and Animal Logic, with others expected to join.
“Dan’s a great producer and a great partner,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group in a statement. “He’s got an intuitive sense of what will work on screen and the ability to pull together the right talent and resources to build franchise movies. This relationship has already been wildly successful, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.”
“I’m excited to continue my long and productive relationship with Warner Bros. as my company transitions to a new model and purpose. In the face of unprecedented disruption, I wanted to create a new kind of production company that could act as a community in service of creativity, not just a content supplier,” said Dan Lin, who spent 10 years as a film executive at Warner Bros. Pictures before starting his production shingle in 2008. “Rideback is a term from the Old West that refers to helping a fallen rider back on their horse. We want to be a place for writers, directors and other artists to collaborate and benefit from the support of their peers. We’re opening the door to a broader mix of voices and stories, to help us take risks, push boundaries and explore new ideas.”
Rideback is developing many unique programs that will bring writers and filmmakers together on its campus. Details of these programs will be announced at a later date.
Rideback is currently producing (in conjunction with the aforementioned teams) The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and It: Chapter Two for New Line Cinema. Rideback is also developing Lethal Weapon 5, with Richard Donner directing, for Warner Bros. Pictures. Separately, Rideback produces, through Warner Bros. Television, the highly rated Lethal Weapon series on Fox, in addition to developing other projects for network, cable and OTT.