Paramount has reupped its first-look deal with producer Neal Moritz, giving the acclaimed producer a two-year extension on his current pact. It extends the studio’s relationship with Moritz through December 2023.
“I am thrilled to extend this relationship with Neal and Original Film, which already has been so fruitful with the success of Sonic the Hedgehog,” Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos said Wednesday. “Neal has a unique talent for identifying, developing and building franchises that truly capture audiences and embody the spirit of moviegoing. I couldn’t be happier that he is continuing to make Paramount his home as we move into our next phase of creating incredible entertainment for audiences everywhere.”
In the course of his partnership with the studio, Moritz produced the groundbreaking hit Sonic the Hedgehog, and will be returning to produce the sequel as well. Upon its release, Sonic scored the first No. 1 opening weekend of all time for a movie based on a video game, and went on to become the highest-grossing movie based on a video game of all time domestically. To date, it has grossed $307 million at the global box office.
“I am incredibly grateful for the support, confidence and faith that Jim and everyone at Paramount have shown me since we forged this partnership,” said Moritz. “I am overjoyed to be continuing this relationship and to see where our shared vision for pushing the boundaries of great entertainment takes us.”
In addition to the Sonic sequel, Moritz will also be producing To Catch a Thief and the upcoming mobster thriller American Son starring Russell Crowe.
Moritz is also known for producing iconic franchises including Fast & Furious at Universal Pictures and 21 Jump Street at Sony.