STX & Michael Connolly’s Mad Hatter Entertainment Ink First-Look Deal

Michael A. Connolly Courtesy

EXCLUSIVE: STX Entertainment has entered into a first-look deal with How to Train Your Dragon producer Michael Connolly’s Mad Hatter Entertainment label.

Connolly was key in bringing the George Lopez series Once Upon a Time in Aztlan into STXtv. In that series, which Deadline first told you about, Lopez is starring and executive producing with famed photographer Estevan Oriol, L.A.-based artist Mister Cartoon,  and director Ricardo de Montreuil, was recently set at Amazon and opened its writers room. Javier Rodriguez is penning. Rodriguez and Connolly are serving as EPs.

For the past four years, Connolly served as Head of Television at Vertigo Entertainment, where he created the division and closed pod deals with both WBTV and Sony Pictures Television. Under his leadership there, Connolly developed The Departed at Amazon, Sour Mash at NBC and Shelly at Freeform, and he is currently an EP on the upcoming Amazon horror anthology series Them with Lena Waithe and The Secret History of the Pink Carnation for 20th Television at Disney+.

Prior to joining Vertigo, Connolly founded Mad Hatter Entertainment, where he executive produced the series Hemlock Grove for Netflix and The Son for AMC. Connolly is also co-producer of the multi-Oscar-nominated, $1.6 billion-plus grossing franchise How to Train Your Dragon.

Jada Miranda, head of Scripted Television for STXtv, says, “Michael has one of the most well earned reputations in the industry for developing content as well as discovering talent. He has an undeniable ear for dialogue and a network of contacts that make him the kind of producer we’re excited to be in business with. With his superior relationships and gift for development, we are thrilled to have him on our team and it is already paying off, as this week’s announcement about Once Upon a Time in Aztlan demonstrates.”

Connolly added, “I am very excited to be in business with STXtv and STX Entertainment. I’ve known Jada Miranda and Richard Frankie for many years and believe that their business model and appetite to continue their expansion in television will help us to be hyper-competitive in today’s global content boom. Bob Simonds, Noah Fogelson and the entire STX team have created a company culture that values and empowers diverse creative voices and I’m thrilled to land at a studio that thinks outside of the box and both shares and supports my creative goals.”

STXtv produces several scripted and non-scripted series including Valley of the Boom for National Geographic, a six-part limited series which follows the turbulent ride of three companies whose founders were trying to change the world using the emergent technology of the Internet.

Mad Hatter is repped by Larry Kopeikin of Morris, Yorn. Frankie, EVP and head of business operations for STXtv, negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio.

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