'Skyfall' Director Sam Mendes' U.K. Production Firm Up for Sale

ON THE SET: "Skyfall"

"The big challenge for me was action and working in a way that was specifically genre-based -- which actually turned out to be a pleasure after walking a tonal tightrope with a lot of movies," says Sam Mendes (left), with cinematographer Roger Deakins on the "Skyfall" set.

Neal Street Productions is behind films like 'Jarhead' and TV series like 'Penny Dreadful'

Skyfall director Sam Mendes’ U.K. production company Neal Street Productions is up for sale, an industry source confirmed Wednesday.

A Neal Street representative declined to comment.

The Guardian first reported that the producer of such films as the Jake Gyllenhaal Gulf War drama Jarhead and such TV shows as Call the Midwife and Penny Dreadful is up for sale with a price tag of up to $64 million (£40 million).

Prospective buyers have received an information memorandum about the London-based company, which also does theater productions such as Shrek and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with first-round bids expected soon, the report said.

Read more Sam Mendes' Neal Street Productions Hires BBC Drama Production Guru

The company's other productions include a recently announced second season of Shakespeare history play adaptations for the BBC under the banner The Hollow Crown. The second season will feature Benedict Cumberbatch and Judi Dench among other stars.

The privately held company launched in 2003 with Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling as founders.

Independent U.K. production outfits, especially in the TV space, have been selling to British and U.S. companies over the past year. Among other deals, Discovery Communications and Liberty Global recently acquired U.K. indie All3Media. ITV and others have also been among buyers.

Representatives for ITV and Sony declined to comment on the companies' possible interest in looking at an acquisition of Neal Street.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai