Overture new neighbor in Hoffman's Town


Overture Films has inked a two-year, first-look deal with Philip Seymour Hoffman's New York-based Cooper's Town Prods.

The companies also have set "Unconditional" as the first project under the deal. Originally produced as a play at the LAByrinth Theater Company, where Hoffman serves as co-artistic director, Brett C. Leonard's drama centers on an interlocking set of stories about lonely New Yorkers and covers such themes as race, love and betrayal. Leonard will adapt his own work for the screen.

"It's the right time for us to strike out with a deal like this," Cooper's Town co-founder Emily Ziff said. "We think Overture is savvy about the business but also respectful of the artist, and that's a philosophy we share."

Cooper's Town has been methodical in its plans since its inception a few years ago. Its first project, "Capote," earned $29 million; the company followed with "The Savages," Tamara Jenkins' drama that earned several Oscar noms when it was distributed last year by Fox Searchlight.

Hoffman likely will not act in most of Cooper's pictures. Still, for Overture, the deal offers a chance to work with an actor who draws talent to his productions. (partialdiff)