October 01, 2013 2:52pm PT by Lacey Rose
Kevin James Inks Overall Deal for Film and TV at Lionsgate
Comedian Kevin James is putting down roots at Lionsgate.
The company has reached an overall deal with James that is set to span both feature films and television. As part of the lucrative pact, Lionsgate will develop big- and small-screen projects in which James will star as well as produce.
“We’re delighted to be in the Kevin James business and, on a personal level, I’m pleased to reunite with my star from The King of Queens,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, adding: “Kevin is exactly the kind of versatile and entrepreneurial acting, producing and writing talent with whom we like to partner. He has a tremendous track record in both the film and TV business, and we look forward to partnering with him on a wide range of projects in the years to come.”
James began his feature film career starring opposite Will Smith in the 2005 blockbuster Hitch, which grossed nearly $400 million at the worldwide box office, before following up with 2009's Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which he cowrote and starred in. On the small screen, he's best known for his lengthy, Emmy-nominated run as Doug Heffernan on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens, which ran for nine seasons.
The move comes as Lionsgate continues to expand its entertainment portfolio. On the TV side, the studio has 30 TV shows on 20 different networks. including ABC's Nashville, AMC's Mad Men, Netflix's Orange Is the New Black and daytime entry The Wendy Williams Show. Although the company is staying mum on what James will do, he would seem a logical candidate for a Debmar-Mercury-distributed 10/90 show. To date, the latter have featured writer-producer-star Tyler Perry (House of Payne) and Charlie Sheen (FX's Anger Management) as well as upcoming FX series starring Kelsey Grammer, Martin Lawrence and George Lopez. On the film front, Lionsgate has been riding high on the success of franchises including Twilight and Hunger Games.
James, whose other movie credits include Grown Ups and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, will continue to have a longstanding, first-look feature development deal at Sony Pictures as well.
He is repped by WME, Jeff Sussman Management and Schreck Rose.