EXCLUSIVE: The Washington Post and Imagine Entertainment have entered into a strategic partnership to create scripted and non-scripted film and television properties culled from The Post’s vast archives, current reporting, and ongoing investigations. The multi-year deal gives Imagine an exclusive first-look to develop and produce all projects through the venture. Creative Artists Agency, which represents both entities, brokered the deal and will harness its resources and expertise to help expand The Post’s storytelling opportunities with Imagine across multiple formats. Washington Post Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan will oversee the deal with Imagine Entertainment Executive Chairman Brian Grazer and Chief Strategy Officer Justin Wilkes.
“At The Post, we’re storytellers at heart. Whether it’s holding the powerful to account or shedding light on an exceptionally compelling narrative, we see tremendous untapped potential for extending the reach of our journalism,” said Ryan. “Partnering with Imagine, a leader in the entertainment industry, and the talented team at CAA, we look forward to connecting global audiences with essential and riveting Post reporting.”
Grazer and Howard have long been fascinated with the workings of the press, going back to their 1994 drama The Paper, which Howard directed. They’ve also long leaned into true stories, from documentaries to Best Picture winner A Beautiful Mind, Hillbilly Elegy to Thirteen Lives, the latter a Howard-directed film about the harrowing global attempt to rescue a group of soccer teens and their coach in Thailand after they wandered into caves that flooded. That film will be distributed by MGM and United Artists Releasing in August through Amazon.
“The reporting of the truth is one of the hallmarks of our democracy and nowhere is that pursuit more evident than within the pages of the Washington Post,” said Grazer. “To have access to the world-class journalism and deep investigative reporting from Watergate to the recent conflict in Ukraine is a filmmaker’s dream. We’re honored to partner with the Post across all storytelling verticals within Imagine.”
Said CAA co-chairman Bryan Lourd, who put the parties together: “The Washington Post is a world-class news organization whose elite journalists and editors are devoted to chronicling the stories of our times. To be working with The Post and have our longtime client Imagine as the pristine engine to extend their imprint is the meeting of two brands that align perfectly.”
Owned by the Jeff Bezos-controlled Nash Holdings, The Washington Post has expanded its journalism aggressively, particularly into overseas markets. The Post has expanded all aspects of reporting on topics including climate, health and wellness, and technology. The paper, whose works informed the films All the President’s Men and most recently the Steven Spielberg-directed The Post, was recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its coverage of the causes, costs and aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Imagine continues to evolve as an independent content studio with targeted acquisitions, partnerships, and new divisions led by Imagine Presidents’ Tony Hernandez and Lilly Burns, as well as Wilkes. That includes Premium Documentaries, Kids+Family, Brands, International, Audio and Live Entertainment. Imagine also acquired Jax Media, to develop, produce, and finance feature and scripted television projects in the comedy space, and documentary Oscar winner Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions. Imagine formed a multi-year strategic partnership with Warner Music Group (WMG), to co-produce and co-finance a slate of music-centered projects.