Scorsese, Par set up house Helmer inks 4-year, first-look studio pact

In a bid to foster a talent-friendly studio reminiscent of its '70s glory days, Paramount Pictures has signed a four-year, first-look deal with filmmaker Martin Scorsese, Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey said this past week (HR 11/8).

The studio will supply Scorsese, who will continue to be based out of his New York offices, with $2.5 million a year in overhead for four years, equivalent to the studio's deal with Brad Pitt's Plan B Prods.

Scorsese has contracted to give Paramount and its specialty division Paramount Vantage — run by the director's former agent, John Lesher — first crack at all projects he directs and produces in all media, including features, made-for-DVD films, documentaries, digital content and television.

Grey has nurtured a close relationship with the filmmaker. Along with Pitt and Graham King, Grey produced "The Departed," the biggest-grossing film of Scorsese's career. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the Boston-set gangster film has grossed more than $169 million worldwide in its first six weekends of release.