Paul Walker Signs Two-Year, First-Look Deal With Universal Pictures
Paul Walker has signed a two-year, first-look production deal with Universal Pictures to house his Laguna Ridge Pictures, the studio announced Tuesday.
The action thriller Skyscraper, based on an original idea by Mike Sobel, will be the first project under the deal. Walker will executive produce and star, with Neal Moritz’s Original Films producing.
Walker has starred in four installments of Universal’s The Fast and the Furious franchise. Most recently, he headlined Fast Five, which grossed more than $630 million worldwide.This spring, he’ll start production on Fast & Furious 6.
Walker also is attached to star in and executive produce Hours, alongside producer Peter Safran’s Safran Co. The thriller, set in post-Katrina New Orleans, is slated to begin production in April. Walker recently starred in and executive produced Vehicle 19, also with the Safran Co. producing.
The actor/producer’s Laguna Ridge Pictures is run by Walker, Brandon Birtell and manager Matt Luber. Walker is represented UTA and Luber Roklin.
“I’ve had a long and successful relationship with Universal, so it’s the obvious and ideal home for Laguna Ridge Pictures," Walker said. "I’m excited to expand my relationship with them and with Neal, who has been a catalyst and a guide throughout my career. Having the support of Jim Berkus, Theresa Peters and Chris Hart at UTA, along with my manager Matt Luber and my producing partner Brandon Birtell, now is the time to take this next step.”
“It is impossible that the Fast and Furious franchise would have become the phenomenon that it has without Paul’s imprint on the series,” Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson and co-chairman Donna Langley said in a joint statement. “We’re excited to be the beneficiaries of his creative work as he branches out as a filmmaker and tackles projects as a producer.”