Brad Krevoy tells Jeremy Kay why he has rebooted his old company with a lively mix of Black List scripts, English-language versions of foreign hits and genre slam-dunks
‘‘This business is about longevity,” muses Brad Krevoy, as his familiar grin spreads across his face. “If you look at those who’ve been in the film business a long time, there’s a reason why they’re still standing. At the end of the day, they make good movies and they make money.”
The charismatic Krevoy, now bidding to make a splash with a reconstituted Motion Pictures Corporation of America (MPCA), the company he founded in 1987 with Steve Stabler, knows a thing or two about staying power. MPCA’s film and TV projects, which include Dumb And Dumber and Kingpin among many others, have grossed more than $800m worldwide.
“Our model is to do big pictures that require studio distribution, important movies and genre movies,” Krevoy says. “We’ve had some lean times and some good times and we’re rebuilding now.”
When Metromedia International acquired MPCA in 1996 it appointed Krevoy co-president of its other interest, Orion Pictures. After two years the entrepreneurial Krevoy left and went on to launch an exhibition business, Resort Theaters of America, and an ISP in Eastern Europe. Around 12 years ago, he bought back the MPCA name but it was only after he collaborated with HBO Films on the critical hit Taking Chance, released in 2009 and starring Kevin Bacon, he says he rediscovered his hunger for film-making. (Stabler is now an independent film producer.)
“When the credit crunch hit in 2008, I looked at the landscape and it was like a bowling alley,” Krevoy says of the companies which had fallen by the wayside. “I decided to get back in a big way. All the stuff we do is the result of taking a script that’s been in turnaround or development hell and reviving it with smart notes.”
Krevoy found a backer, a high-net-worth US individual with investments in Asian casinos, and has ramped up production, building an international sales team led by former Saban International executive Francisco Gonzalez, and assembling an eclectic slate.
Principal photography is set to start in early 2012 on What Would Kenny Do?, a buddy movie set up at Sony Pictures based on Chris Baldi’s Black List script. Tween idol Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher are lined up to star and MPCA is producing with Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment.
Krevoy bought remake rights to the Japanese hit Resurrection (Yomigaeri) and shopped them to DreamWorks through CAA. An English-language version of the supernatural love story, now called Rainbow Bridge, is in the works at the studio.
Krevoy and Gonzalez will be at this month’s AFM to talk primarily about the indie titles on their slate. They include a remake of the 2008 Japanese foreign-language Oscar winner Departures that MPCA is fully financing. Jake Gyllenhaal is in talks to star and the project is ready to go in February 2012. MPCA is also putting together a feature version of the documentary Talhotblond:, a creepy tale about an online love triangle that leads to murder, as well as a further Black List project called Virgin Territory, and Visibility, a supernatural thriller based on a screenplay by Allan Loeb, whose credits include 21, Just Go With It and the upcoming Rock Of Ages.
Krevoy aims to make around 10 genre films a year and has lined up the first three to introduce to buyers at the AFM. In post are Six Bullets (formerly Assassination Games) starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and directed by the UK’s Ernie Barbarash, and One In The Chamber, which unites Cuba Gooding Jr and Dolph Lundgren. The Package is ready to go in mid-February 2012 and will star Lundgren with his The Expendables co-star Steve Austin.
- In 1987 Brad Krevoy co-founded MPCA with Steve Stabler. Metromedia International acquired the company in 1996 and owned it for the next three years. At the same time, it appointed Krevoy as co-president of Metromedia-owned Orion Pictures.
- In 2000, Krevoy bought back the MPCA name and secured an MGM distribution deal.
- In 2008, Krevoy took an executive producer credit on Taking Chance, and decided to get back into the game and ramp up production and sales.