Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage Ink First-Look Pact With Universal Pictures

12:13 PM PST 06/05/2014 by Tatiana Siegel
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Stephanie Savage; Josh Schwartz

The pair's Fake Empire banner produced "Endless Love" and the upcoming "Monster High" for the studio.

Universal Pictures has signed a two-year first-look production deal with Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage's Fake Empire banner.

The announcement was made by co-presidents of production Peter Cramer and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum.

Schwartz and Savage are currently writing and will produce the studio's live-action feature Monster High, based on the Mattel franchise of the same name, alongside Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Schwartz and Savage also produced Endless Love for Universal.

"Josh and Stephanie's ability to generate quality entertainment with a particular appeal for younger audiences has fuelled their success, and we look forward to working with them as they expand their film presence," Universal co-president of production Peter Cramer said.

Added co-president of production Jeffrey Kirschenbaum: "Their voice and creative instincts as writers and producers will be invaluable on projects such as Monster High, which has a significant fan following. Josh and Stephanie are true storytellers at heart, and we are looking forward to collaborating with them on some exciting projects in the pipeline."

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Fake Empire and its team, including Lis Rowinski who oversees film for the company, will be housed on the Universal lot. As a part of the move, Lynley Bird will be promoted to creative executive. Before Fake Empire, Bird was a creative executive at Illumination Entertainment.

"We already feel at home at Universal," Schwartz and Savage said in a joint statement. "We've had a great time developing Monster High and producing Endless Love. We're impressed with the creativity and leadership at the studio and look forward to continuing our relationship with Jeff Shell, Donna Langley and their amazing team, including Jeff Kirschenbaum and Peter Cramer as well as the best marketers in the business."

On the television side, Fake Empire is behind such hits as CW's Gossip Girl, NBC's Chuck and Fox's The O.C. The company is currently in production on The Astronaut Wives Club, which ABC picked up for a 10-episode straight-to-series order earlier this year, and CW's Hart of Dixie, which was recently renewed for a fourth season.

Schwartz, Savage and Fake Empire were repped in the deal by WME and attorney Joel McKuin.

E-mail: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com
Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27

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