Culver City, CA - Oct. 20, 2009 - Academy Award®-winning producer Graham King (The Departed) has signed a three-year, multi-film output agreement with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group, it was announced today by Peter Schlessel, President of Worldwide Affairs for the studio. Under the deal, King's GK Films will independently develop, finance and produce a minimum of two films a year that will be marketed and distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures.
King, who is concluding a first-look deal with Warner Bros, will continue to develop previously agreed upon films with the Burbank-based studio. He will transition to the new agreement with Sony and begin to identify new projects to be developed and financed in-house by GK Films. Such projects will be handled worldwide by Sony Pictures under the provisions of their new arrangement.
"Working with Warners has been, and continues to be, a wonderful experience and I cherish the support and collaboration of the whole team," said King. "But the deal with Sony Pictures gives us guaranteed distribution for our films and the opportunity to work with a successful and respected studio that handles every type of motion picture equally well. It is a perfect transition for us and I look forward to working closely with the entire Sony team over the next several years on our new slate of films."
Added Jeff Blake, Chairman of Worldwide Distribution and Marketing, "Graham delivers the kinds of films that excite audiences throughout the world and his projects will be a fantastic addition to our slate across all of our distribution platforms."
King launched his independent production company GK Films in May 2007 with business partner Tim Headington. Under this new production banner, the company produced the thriller Edge of Darkness starring Mel Gibson which is set for theatrical release through Warner Bros. Pictures on January 29th, 2010. In addition, GK Films recently completed shooting The Rum Diary starring Johnny Depp and co-starring Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Michael Rispoli, Richard Jenkins and Giovanni Ribisi. The film is also produced by Depp's production company, Infinitum Nihil, with whom King will continue to foster projects. GK Films has also completed shooting the crime drama London Boulevard starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley, and written and helmed by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter William Monahan.
GK Film's production The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend will enjoy its US release in December 2009 though Bob Berney's new distribution company, Apparition. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée from a script written by Academy Award winner Julian Fellowes, The Young Victoria is produced by King, Martin Scorsese, Tim Headington and Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York.
Other GK Films projects in various stages of production or development include Rango directed by Gore Verbinski and produced with his production company Blind Wink Productions for Paramount Pictures and The Town written and directed by Ben Affleck for Warner Bros. Pictures.
Prior to the launch of GK Films, King was President and CEO of Initial Entertainment Group, where he produced the 2007 Academy Award®-winning The Departed, Blood Diamond and Martin Scorsese's The Aviator. He also served as an executive producer on such epic films as Scorsese's Gangs of New York, Michael Mann's biographical drama Ali, and Steven Soderbergh's Oscar®-winning ensemble drama Traffic. King went on to executive produce the television miniseries "Traffic," for which he received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Miniseries.
The deal was negotiated for GK Films by COO, Bahman Naraghi with Peter Schlessel. GK Films' Julie Roach and Sony Pictures' David Steinberg were instrumental in closing the transaction.
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