Graham King has signed afirst-look deal with Warner Bros that will bring him in as producer on twoprojects for the studio and shifts Initial Entertainment Group's deals withLeonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way and Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil to Warner Bros.
Initial Entertainment willremain an international sales entity for projects that King does not produce.He and partner Colin Cotter will continue ownership of Initial, with Kingserving as president and chief executive officer and Cotter as chief operatingofficer.
King, the driving forcebehind Oscar winner The Aviator,will start production on Apr 18 in Boston and New York on thriller TheDeparted with producer Brad Pitt forPlan B, and executive producers Doug Davison, Roy Lee, Gianni Nunnari and G MacBrown.
The Departed, a remake of the smash Hong Kong crime storyInfernal Affairs, is directed by Martin Scorsese and star DiCaprio, with whomKing worked on both The Aviator andGangs Of New York.
The red-hot cast alsoincludes Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg and Vera Farmiga. Vicepresident of production Dan Lin is superviing for Warner Bros.
After that King will produceShantaram alongside InfinitumNihil and Plan B. Depp will star in the picture, which is being adapted byGregory Roberts from his own novel.
Executive vice president ofproduction Kevin McCormick is overseeing development and production for WarnerBros on the story of a prison escapee from Australia who arrives in Mumbai andsoon establishes himself among the Indian underworld.
"Graham's passion for makingmovies, his great taste in material and his outstanding relationships withfilmmakers like Martin Scorsese and actors like Johnny and Leo is a tremendousasset to us," Warner Bros president of production Jeff Robinov said in a statement.
He went on to say: "I alsowant to acknowledge Kevin McCormick, whose relationships with Graham, Leo andJohnny played a key role in bringing them to Warner Bros Pictures."
"I am thrilled to beexpanding my ongoing relationship with Warner Bros Pictures through this deal,"King added.
"I've had a wonderfulexperience working with them on The Aviator and preparing to shoot The Departed; Alan Horn, Jeff Robinov and Kevin McCormick andtheir team have tremendous appreciation for the film-making process and I'mcertain that we'll accomplish great things together."
King set up Initial in 1995and his executive producer credits include Traffic and Ali.Other Initial titles include Laws Of Attraction, Dr T And The Women, TheBallad Of Jack And Rose, and LasseHallstrom's upcoming drama An Unfinished Life.