EXCLUSIVE: We’ve learned that Escape Artists, the Sony-based production company run by partners Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, and David Bloomfield, has inked New York based production company ShowKat Productions, run by producer Jonathan Shukat, to a first look deal covering both film and TV projects.
Escape Artists and ShowKat already have multiple projects in development including the Black List script bio-pic Let Her Speak from writer Mario Correa (Dark Waters). Under the deal, Shukat will focus on discovering new writer voices and expanding its slate of projects with Escape Artists.
Shukat formed ShowKat in 2010 to focus on commercial independent and studio projects across all genres in addition to scripted TV. He previously co-produced the Sundance Film Festival screened documentary Life 2.0 alongside Andrew Lauren Productions and served as EP on Dancing in Jaffa which was released theatrically by IFC/Sundance Selects. In addition to Let Her Speak, Shukat is currently in post-production on the documentary Finding 52 with director Joshua Zeman and attached to produce the thriller Unsound alongside XYZ Films and Untapped Productions starring Anna Kendrick with Bharat Nalluri attached to direct.
Said Escape Artists co-partner Black “Jonathan has excellent taste and terrific contacts with new writers, particularly on the East coast. We are excited about what our companies will do together.” The deal was negotiated by Evan Krauss of Eisner Law for ShowKat.
Escape Artists is in post-production on the Nicolas Cage-Alex Wolff thriller Pig, and have been behind such notable pics as Will Smith’s The Pursuit of Happyness ($307M WW) and Seven Pounds ($170M WW), as well as several Denzel Washington movies like the Equalizer franchise ($382M WW), The Magnificent Seven ($162M WW), The Taking of Pelham 123 ($150M WW) and the Oscar-winning Fences ($64M WW).