21 Jump Street producer Neal Moritz is moving his company Original Film out of Sony and heading to Paramount under a new first-look deal that will begin on Jan. 1, 2019, when his Sony contract expires, it was announced Wednesday by Paramount chairman/CEO Jim Gianopulos.
Until then, Moritz and Paramount will have a second-look deal effective immediately, so any Original Film projects that Sony passes on will be offered to Paramount next.
Moritz (pictured above with director Justin Lin) is one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful producers, and his films have grossed more than $10 billion at the global box office. In addition to the blockbuster Fast and Furious franchise, he also produced the two Jump Street movies, the XXX series, I Am Legend, Goosebumps and two of my personal favorites, Cruel Intentions and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
“Neal and I have known each other for many years and he is one of the greatest storytellers and producers in our industry, building franchises that have a tremendous impact on the worldwide box office. This first look deal with Neal will help Paramount continue to bolster and diversify our upcoming slate and I’m thrilled to have him come aboard,” said Gianopulos.
“My first producing deal was at Paramount and I consider this a welcome return to my original home. Jim brings a renewed excitement and vision to Paramount, offering filmmakers unique creative opportunities,” added Moritz.
In addition to his film work, Moritz serves as an executive producer on such hit TV series as Preacher, Prison Break, The Big C and the upcoming series S.W.A.T.
I happened to sit next to Moritz at J.C. Spink’s memorial earlier this summer, and his attendance spoke volumes. He’s a stand-up guy in a town where the most powerful people aren’t always good people. I think he’s a strong addition to Paramount’s core of producers, and he’ll benefit from the change of scenery as well. We wish him the best of luck over on the Melrose lot.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief