'John Wick' Producers Sign Output Deal With Germany's Leonine

Basil Iwanyk - H 2016
Tim Rue/Corbis

'John Wick' and 'Sicario' producers Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee, through their Asbury Park Pictures label, have signed an output deal with German mini-major Leonine Studios.

Asbury Park Pictures, the U.S.-based production group from John Wick and Sicario producers Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee, has signed an output deal with German mini-major Leonine Studios, giving Leonine exclusive German-language rights to Asbury Park's upcoming slate of mid-budget action titles.

Iwanyk and Lee launched Asbury Park late last year as a joint venture between Iwanyk's Thunder Road Films and Redbox Entertainment, with the goal of producing a dozen high-concept action and thriller films in the $10 million — $12 million range over the next three years. The slate is targeting a gap in the international market left by the major studios, which have scaled back the production of mid-range genre titles.

Producer Mike Gabrawy (Hotel Mumbai) is tasked with running the Asbury Park label. Redbox will handle domestic distribution on the Asbury Park slate through its system of DVD rental kiosks and on-demand streaming service.

The first film to go into production will be Black Site. Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), Michelle Monaghan (Mission: Impossible —Fallout), and Jai Courtney (Suicide Squad) star in the action thriller about a group of CIA agents who square off against a brilliant inmate in a maximum-security wing of a top-secret prison. First-timer Sophia Banks is directing from a screenplay by Jinder Ho. Black Site is set to begin production in February in Australia.

Leonine is a German production, distribution, and sales outfit owned by New York investment firm KKR which brought together several indie players in the territory, including Tele München Group, Universum, and Dark producers Wiedemann & Berg, under one roof.

Under the guidance of CEO Fred Kogel, Leonine has quickly become one of Germany's leading industry players and a top buyer in the country. Leonine's first big release under its own label, Rian Johnson's Knives Out, earned $10.5 million at the German box office, making it one of the top releases in the territory last year.

Kogel has also stocked the shelves for the post-coronavirus pandemic period when German cinemas reopen, securing rights to such high-profile titles as Roland Emmerich's sci-fi epic Moonfall, the Neill Blomkamp-Taylor Kitsch project Inferno, and Dog, a road comedy starring, and directed by, Channing Tatum.