EXCLUSIVE: Rob and Michele Reiner have signed a multi-year overall production and directing deal with Warner Bros Television via their newly formed production company as the duo is reviving the Castle Rock banner.
Reiner co-founded indie production company Castle Rock Entertainment in 1987. The company’s more than 125 films included When Harry Met Sally…, Oscar nominee A Few Good Men, In the Line of Fire, City Slickers, Miss Congeniality and Oscar nominee The Shawshank Redemption.
In TV, Castle Rock produced one of the most successful comedy series in history, Seinfeld.
The company was acquired by Turner Broadcasting and became part of Warner Bros following the Time Warner merger. Castle Rock continued to produce movies for Warner Bros; eventually it was disbanded. Rob Reiner kept the name alive, using the Castle Rock moniker for his independent film producing. On his most recent movie, Shock and Awe, released in 2018 by Vertical Entertainment, he teamed with his wife, Michele, a professional photographer. They produced together the drama starring Woody Harrelson and Tommy Lee Jones about the run-up to the Iraq War.
The pact with Warner Bros TV, which was made in May, marks the first overall TV deal in Emmy winner Rob Reiner’s career.
Working with executive Michelle Goldfine, whom the Reiners brought to Castle Rock under the deal, the duo have put together about a dozen projects they will take out when network buying starts to pick up amid the pandemic.
“We have a really eclectic development slate, half-hour comedies, hour dramas, political things, period things. It’s pretty varied,” Rob Reiner said.
He noted that no project they are developing would fall under the “mainstream sitcom genre” where Castle Rock struck gold with Seinfeld.
“The TV business has changed dramatically since we went out with Seinfeld,” Reiner said. “You now have also streaming services and cable networks, and there is a lot of niche programming and certain type of programming for certain markets and outlets. It’s very different.”
For their TV development, the Reiners also will be able to draw from the Castle Rock library, the bulk of which is owned by Warner Bros.
Reiner is a two-time Emmy winner for his role as Michael Stivic in the groundbreaking series All in the Family. Classic episodes from the series from Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin were recently re-created for ABC’s Emmy-winning Live in Front of a Studio Audience.
As a director he is a three-time DGA Award nominee, and his 1992 film A Few Good Men was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. He helmed that one along with When Harry Met Sally…, Misery, The Princess Bride, Stand By Me and This Is Spinal Tap. Reiner also produced and directed The American President, Ghosts of Mississippi and The Bucket List.
Both longtime political activists, Rob and Michele in 1998 spearheaded California legislation to fund early childhood development and in 2009 they co-founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which filed a federal lawsuit that paved the way for marriage equality throughout the country.
Rob Reiner and Michele Reiner are repped by ICM Partners and attorney Michael Shankman.