Mandeville re-ups at Disney

'Proposal' producers sign two-year extension of first-look deal

Disney is keeping David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman's Mandeville Films and Television on its lot, signing the production company behind last year's hit "The Proposal" to a two year-extension of their first-look deal.

Terms of the deal were not divulged, but the pact strengthens the 15-year bond between the companies at a time when other production outfits housed at the studio are being downsized or let go.

Under new boss Rich Ross, Disney recently ended a rich deal with ImageMovers (though it might sign the company run by Robert Zemeckis, Steve Rapke and Steve Starkey to a more modest pact), and it is in negotiations with Scott Rudin to end his deal early.

Hoberman, a former president of Disney's motion picture group, signed an exclusive five-year deal when he founded his shingle in 1995, then signed another exclusive pact in 2002, this time with Lieberman, who had been senior vp international finance at Hyde Park Entertainment. Lieberman became a partner two years later and the company re-upped again, this time for five years, in 2005.

"To continue a relationship with a studio when it's going through a shift and a sea change, even as the business undergoes a sea change, I feel fortunate to be part of that and to be part of the rebirthing of what the new Disney will become," Lieberman told THR.

Mandeville has become a reliable producer of hits for the studio, particularly in the comedy arena and under the Touchstone banner.

In addition to "Proposal," Mandeville produced 2003's "Bringing Down the House," starring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah, and 2007's "Wild Hogs," starring Tim Allen and John Travolta, both of which were released via Touchstone.

Other strong performers included the canine adventure movie "Eight Below" and live action-CG hybrid family pic "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." In all, the company's films have grossed more than $1 billion domestically.

While the new Disney slate remains in the early stages, it is known that Mandeville will be producing the new Muppet movie, which is to be directed by James Bobin and star Jason Segel as the live-action lead.