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Universal Pictures has inked a first-look deal with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman‘s Brownstone Productions.
The two-year deal, announced on Thursday by Universal co-presidents of production Peter Cramer and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, gives the studio dibs on Brownstone’s growing roster of film, TV and digital projects. Brownstone’s offices will relocate to the Universal lot as part of the agreement.
“They are a formidable team,” Cramer says in a statement of Banks and Handelman, who met in 1992 on the campus of University of Pennsylvania and have been married since 2003. “We are thrilled to formalize our long-standing relationship with them by welcoming Brownstone to our lot.”
Brownstone’s slate currently includes two features set up at Lionsgate — adaptations of the books White Girl Problems and Heist Society — as well as a digital series, Resident Advisors, produced in collaboration with Paramount Digital Entertainment and set to premiere on Hulu this spring. A live-action feature based on the fairy character Tinker Bell is also in development at Disney.
Due in theaters May 15, 2015, the hugely anticipated Pitch Perfect 2 also marks Banks’ feature directorial debut. The first, an a capella comedy starring Anna Kendrick and produced on a modest budget of $17 million, went on to gross over $113 million worldwide.
“Universal has keenly understood the unique Pitch Perfect brand, and we are excited to now extend that brand to projects beyond the Pitch franchise,” say Banks and Handelman in a statement.
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