The Mandate Pictures co-founders have left the Lionsgate fold and head to Cannes with their financing, production and sales operation and a pair of buzz titles: Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake and Jon Turteltaub comedy Last Vegas.
Drake, who most recently served as president of Lionsgate’s motion picture group, will oversee Good Universe’s sales operation. Kahane, the former Mandate Pictures president, will join him at the helm of the company and together they will source broadly commercial properties with franchise potential, expand the Ghost House Pictures brand with a reinvestment and greater focus on horror, and find “original voice” properties like Juno, the Harold & Kumar franchise and 50/50 that defined the Mandate brand.
A press release said Good Universe was fully staffed and its pipeline included films from Mandate’s development slate. The company will work with Lionsgate to complete select Mandate titles in production including Hope Springs with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, the Evil Dead remake and comedy The End Of The World that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will direct.
It remained unclear at time of writing whether Helen Lee Kim will join Drake when she departs Lionsgate after Cannes, as has been widely speculated.
Good Universe will also provide management and production services on select Mandate library properties.
“Nathan and I are excited to continue and evolve the partnership we first forged nearly 10 years ago,” Drake said. “We take great pride supporting filmmakers and the creative process, and are energised to expand our already successful business model for films in a wide variety of genres. We have seen phenomenal success at both Lionsgate and Mandate and are thrilled to realise it again with Good Universe by building on our collective relationships and experiences.”
“Our goal with the new independent venture is to produce and finance quality commercial entertainment and serve as a value incubator for content creators, authors and idea generators,” Kahane said. “Audiences want to see good movies, the kind of breakout original material that we will bring to the marketplace.”
Drake and Kahane’s decade-long partnership started in 2003, when they founded Mandate Pictures. Shortly after that they partnered with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert on Ghost House Pictures. They sold Mandate to Lionsgate in 2007 and continued to run it as an autonomous brand.
Prior to their partnership, Drake was president of Lionsgate International and Kahane was evp of Mark Canton’s Warner Bros-based production company The Canton Company.