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Brad Weston, the veteran executive who ran New Regency and made movies such as The Revenant, Birdman and 12 Years a Slave, has launched a new venture, Makeready.
The enterprise, described as a global content creation company, will develop and produce original feature films and high-end television for premium cable, OTT and emerging platforms on a worldwide basis.
Makeready is, like its name, ready-made. The company has backing from Entertainment One (eOne) and has partnered with Universal Pictures to handle worldwide theatrical marketing and distribution for the company’s feature films. eOne will handle theatrical distribution across its territories, which include Canada, the U.K., Australia/New Zealand, Benelux and Spain. eOne, the lead investor in Makeready, will also handle international distribution of all television content from the new company.
Weston is the CEO of Makeready, which will be based in Culver City, while Pam Abdy, who acted as New Regency’s president of production during Weston’s tenure, will head the company’s executive team. Television and digital execs are expected to be named soon.
Weston — who left New Regency about a year ago after a five-year stint that saw its movies earn 34 Oscar nominations and 12 wins — sees his new venture as an independent studio that will have “deep partnerships” with content creators with the goal of supporting the making of creative-driven projects.
“I learned a long time ago in this business, that it’s all about the talent, and that’s never been more true than it is today,” he said in a statement. “Assembling the best filmmakers, showrunners, writers and actors is crucial in order to break through the noise and grab people with something truly bold and original. The only way to make that impact is to collaborate with people with singular visions and that are strong enough to execute. At Regency, our mandate was to work with great directors whose films should be made independently but also warranted worldwide studio distribution. That proved to work out really well, and so with Makeready it will be that same approach applied to film, television, and digital content.”
Makeready has several projects in development, mainly in the television sphere.
Weston is reuniting with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way, with whom he worked on the Oscar-winning drama The Revenant, for a project named Saigon. David James Kelly is writing.
The best-selling novel They Can’t Kill Us All, which tells of the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement, was picked up by Abdy and is being developed as a limited series.
Boom! Studio graphic novel Old City Blues is being developed as a series, with Arash Amel attached to write.
The company is working with Chloe Grace Moretz on what is being described as a “genuine and experiential” series centered on older teens and 20-year olds. Moretz will executive produce.
“I am lucky to have Universal and eOne as partners,” said Weston. “I have always admired everything my longtime friend Donna Langley has done. We share similar business philosophies and sensibilities. Combining our easy relationship with their brilliant marketing, Universal is a comfortable and natural fit. In eOne, I’ve found an ambitious global like-minded partner who shares my passion for great content. I believe that the confidence that Darren Throop and the eOne team have shown in me and Makeready will prove to be the foundation for a long and successful future together.”
Weston acted as co-president of Dimension Films and president of production for Paramount before joining New Regency. At Paramount, he oversaw the rebooting of the Star Trek franchise and G.I. Joe, as well as prestige movies such as Shutter Island. At New Regency, he led the company to make movies such as Gone Girl and The Big Short.
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