Imagine Partners Brian Grazer & Ron Howard Make Apple Studios First-Look Film Deal

Brian Grazer, Ron Howard Courtesy of Sage Grazer; Jeff Lipsky

Apple Studios has made a multi-year first look film deal with Imagine Entertainment founders Brian Grazer and Ron Howard to produce a slate of scripted movies exclusively for Apple Original Films.

Deal comes as Howard and Grazer locked Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell and Joel Edgerton to head an international ensemble cast for the MGM Thai cave rescue drama Thirteen Lives.

Over the 36+ years since they formed Imagine, Grazer and Howard have found backing for their movies in a gamut of ways, from a long term Universal deal to the time they took the company public for a short while. The exclusive deal with the streamer Apple is a new wrinkle. Imagine’s TV deal is at CBS.

On the feature side, Imagine is currently producing Lin Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM!, starring Andrew Garfield, and has Lee Daniels directing a reinterpretation of Terms Of Endearment. Howard is coming off Hillbilly Elegy, made for Netflix. Imagine has accumulated 43 Oscar nominations and 198 Emmy noms over the years, and Grazer and Howard won Best Picture Oscars for A Beautiful Mind.

Apple and Imagine collaborations so far have included the Bryce Dallas Howard-directed docu Dads, and the Emmy winning Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10 directed by Morgan Neville. Apple will soon premiere Imagine’s Peanuts 70th Anniversary documentary, as well as the upcoming Barbara Kopple docuseries The Supermodels.

Apple has extended a pre-existing first look deal with Imagine Documentaries.

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