Sony Pictures inks deal with Atlas

Producer Charles Roven in multiyear, first-look pact

Sony Pictures has inked a multiyear, first-look deal with producer Charles Roven and his Atlas Entertainment shingle.

The announcement was made Monday by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, presidents of Sony's Columbia Pictures.

Roven, whose "Get Smart" topped the boxoffice this past weekend, is now producing with Atlas partner Richard Suckle "The International" for Columbia. The film, set for a Feb. 20 release, stars Clive Owen and Naomi Watts and is directed by Tom Tykwer. Atlas and Columbia also are developing the comedy "Winter's Discontent" from a spec penned by Paul Fruchbom.

Roven produced "Get Smart" with Atlas partner Alex Gartner.

"Chuck is an incredibly passionate hands-on producer who has a gift for combining elegant and sophisticated storytelling with a commercial sensibility," Tolmach said. "He is also someone we have known and worked with for many years and are thrilled to be formally reuniting with him and his entire team at Atlas."

The deal reunites Roven with Tolmach and Sony co-chair Amy Pascal, whom he worked with launching Turner Pictures with his late wife Dawn Steel.

Pascal described Roven as "equal parts Renaissance man and business man.

"He is the kind of producer who delivers entertaining and engaging material on time and on budget, and that's a rare commodity these days," Pascal said.

Roven, who was honored as producer of the year at this year's ShoWest, is a co-founder of Atlas, which has produced several tentpoles over the years including "Batman Begins" and the upcoming sequel "The Dark Knight" for Warner Bros. as well as "Get Smart," also for Warners. The company also produces indie films, including "The Bank Job."

The company includes producing partners Gartner, who manages development and production, Suckle and Steve Alexander, a veteran talent agent at CAA who recently came aboard. Atlas executive vp Alan Glazer oversees the day-to-day operations of the production company.

The deal comes as Atlas' parent company Mosaic Media winds down its relationship with producer and manager Jimmy Miller and his Miller Co. Mosaic launched in 1999 as a film and management company that included under its umbrella Atlas, the Miller Co. and Ace Media. Atlas will continue its joint venture with Ace Media's Steven Chasman to produce films and manage talent.

Mosaic has several films awaiting release in 2008, including Sony's "Step Brothers," Universal's "Land of the Lost" and DreamWorks' "She's Out of My League."

"We are in a fortunate position at Atlas to be able to explore many different opportunities," Roven said. "Amy, Matt and I developed a number of great properties at Turner, and I'm very excited to finally have the chance to bring our relationship full circle."

Roven's credits include "Twelve Monkeys," "City of Angels" and "Three Kings."
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