Casey Affleck, John Powers Middleton's Production Company Hires John Ridley (Exclusive)

From left: Casey Affleck, John Powers Middleton and John Ridley
From left: Casey Affleck, John Powers Middleton and John Ridley
 AP Images; Courtesy of Subject

Casey Affleck and producer John Powers Middleton have launched a new production company and have hired former Appian Way executive John Ridley as president of production.

The Untitled Casey Affleck/John Powers Middleton Project will seek to produce both film and TV projects across various genres.

"I had produced a few things, and I was interested in doing more, in a more focused way," Affleck tells The Hollywood Reporter, adding of Middleton: "He has the sort of drive I've been looking for in a partner, and we clicked."

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Affleck, whose recent acting credits include Out of the Furnace, Ain't Them Bodies Saints and the upcoming Interstellar, will serve as an equal-share producer. Affleck directed and produced the 2010 Joaquin Phoenix-starring film I'm Still Here and will continue to pursue writing, acting and directing projects.

"We're looking for all sorts of things -- stories that interest us and ideas that grab us," says Affleck. "I hope that this is going to be fun for us. I've acted, directed, produced and told stories that began with somebody else for 20 years, so I want to try to tell some stories that begin with me."

Middleton, who executive produced Good Universe's Oldboy and co-produced the recent hit The Lego Movie, will produce under the new banner while also still exploring opportunities at Vertigo Entertainment and Good Universe.

"We couldn't be more excited to embark on this new adventure," said Middleton. "We've been discussing this for some time now, recognizing our similar taste in content and company landscape, and I know we're both thrilled to finally bring it to fruition. We want to bring audiences the films they want to see. Casey has such meticulous, exacting and extraordinary vision. I couldn't ask for a better partner."

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Ridley is a strong fit for Affleck and Middleton's new banner, as he previously served as vp development and production at Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way. There, he oversaw numerous film projects, including Live by Night, Twilight Zone, Blood on Snow, Devil in the White City and Mean Business on North Ganson Street. Prior to Appian, Ridley served as an executive at Warner Bros., overseeing The Ballad of Richard Jewell at FOX and The Shining Girls at MRC. He also supervised postproduction of Out of the Furnace at Relativity. On the TV side, Ridley managed TNT's Charles Manson Miniseries and The Natural History Specials at Discovery Channel.   

Alex Foster of Vertigo will add vp, production to his job title.

Affleck and Middleton are both repped by WME, which helped facilitate the new partnership.

Email: Rebecca.Ford@THR.com
Twitter: @Beccamford

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