CULVER CITY, CA, AUGUST 23, 2012 – Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced today that it has signed a five-year overall deal with Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions (SSTP), to develop and produce stage versions of the studio's films. As part of the agreement, the studio has purchased a 20% equity stake in Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions. In addition to its ongoing development of projects from a variety of sources, SSTP will also have a first-look at the Sony Pictures film library and will serve as SPE's primary theatrical consultant to help set up titles not adapted by SSTP with other, third party producers. The equity investment will allow SPE the opportunity to open up its extensive film library for stage adaptations.
SSTP is an award-winning independent New York-based theatre and live-entertainment production company, led by its private founder and CEO, Scott Sanders, an Emmy® and Tony® winning theatrical, film and television producer, with original private equity partners Robert Kraft, David Kraft, Roy Furman and Jim Fantaci.
The deal was negotiated for Sony Pictures by Andrew Gumpert, President, Worldwide Business Affairs and Operations, and Scott Sanders, President and CEO, Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions, and overseen by Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment.
"Expanding our successful relationship with Scott Sanders was the natural next step that provides the studio with a talented Broadway partner to help bring our film and TV libraries to the stage, and further diversify the studio's entertainment offerings," said Lynton.
"Sony Pictures has given the world some of the most exciting and compelling films in history," said Sanders. "We're thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such extraordinary source material, and to mine it for titles that make sense for theatrical adaptation. Our goal is to re-discover stories and characters which speak to the human experience and that audiences want to see again, but from a new perspective."
In connection with the agreement, Lia Vollack, SPE's President, Worldwide Music, has expanded her role at the studio to additionally include the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Theatrical. Vollack will oversee the studio's theatrical productions and will serve as the Sony Pictures liaison with SSTP. She commented, "Expanding into live theater offers Sony the opportunity to add another dimension to our film and TV properties and I'm very excited about working with Scott Sanders to breathe new life into some of our most beloved characters and franchises."
SSTP will add producing and management bandwidth to the company to oversee its increased production slate. Scott Sanders has brought in Sandy Block -- a 25 year Broadway industry veteran who served as Chief Creative Officer of Serino/Coyne, the live-entertainment advertising and marketing agency -- to join SSTP as Producer/VP Theater. Sandy Block, together with President/CEO, Scott Sanders and Producer/VP Theater, Carol Fineman, will continue the company's tradition of developing and producing high quality stage musicals and plays based on popular, renowned literary works—as well as classic stories from a variety of sources—then marketing those projects to a broad based audience.
"Over the last two decades, I've been able to work with the best and brightest people in the industry to launch hundreds of shows," said Sandy Block. "In this new role, I'll be able to expand my involvement in the creative process of initiating, developing and producing the shows themselves. Having known Scott and Carol for many years, I am thrilled to be joining their team, with their great taste for material, ability to attract top-notch talent and unique approach to producing."
As an independent producing company, SSTP has worked with some of the most revered artists in the theatre and film communities such as Aaron Sorkin, Stephen Schwartz and Hugh Jackman, all of whom are part of SSTP's upcoming HOUDINI production. Their current production, EVITA, stars Ricky Martin and is the undisputed hit of Broadway's spring season. EVITA plays to sold-out houses and has remained in the top five grossing shows on the Broadway box office charts since its first week of previews on March 12, 2012. Previously, Sanders lead-produced THE COLOR PURPLE along with Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and others, which turned a profit within twelve months and launched a second company for a multi-year national tour. He also produced both the touring and Broadway productions of ELAINE STRITCH: AT LIBERTY, which won the 2002 Tony® Award, as well as the HBO special of the same name, which garnered two Emmys®, including one for Sanders for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special. In 2010, SSTP brought THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW, from its acclaimed L.A. engagement to Broadway, for a sold-out limited run at the Stephen Sondheim Theater. The subsequent HBO special THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW ON BROADWAY, was nominated for three Emmys®, including one for Outstanding Comedy Variety Special.
ABOUT SCOTT SANDERS PRODUCTIONS (SSP)Scott Sanders Productions (SSP) is a leading multi-media entertainment production company with a focus on theatrical stage productions and motion pictures.
Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions (SSTP) is a partnership among Scott Sanders, Robert Kraft, David Kraft Roy Furman, Jim Fantaci and Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.
Scott Sanders Productions' Film Group (SSFP) has a first-look producer deal with Walt Disney Pictures and maintains its West Coast office on the Disney lot in Burbank.
For more information, please visit: www.scottsandersproductions.com.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT (SPE)Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; worldwide television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 159 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at www.sonypictures.com.
Press Contacts:For Sony:Jason Allen - (310) 244-3502
For Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions:Sheri Goldberg - (646) 723-3800Kelly Bush - (323) 822-4888Carrie Byalick - (212) 774-6157