Artists Production Group(APG), the production arm of Mike Ovitz's Artists Management Group (AMG),has found an unlikely new partner, chairman and CEO in the person of MarkCanton, the producer and former studio head of both Warner Bros and SonyPictures.
Canton will oversee the 50APG projects currently in various stages of development and manage APG'sjoint venture with StudioCanal. He will serve on the management committee ofthe APG/StudioCanal joint venture and will be on the board of APG.
APG president of productionCathy Schulman will remain in place and report to Canton.
"Taking ArtistsProduction Group to the next level is an exciting challenge in a career thathas seen me play major roles as a creative executive and businessman at some ofthe entertainment industry's most prominent entitities," saidCanton in a statement. "Mike Ovitz and Rick Yorn have presented me with aunique hands-on opportunity to be both an executive and a film-maker, and I amlooking forward to working with them and with everyone at AMG and APG as apartner in this forward moving venture."
Canton comes to APG afterfive years running his own outfit The Canton Co at Warner Bros, producingpictures such as Jack Frost, Red Planet, Get Carter and Angel Eyes. Two years ago he struck a deal with Germany's SenatorEntertainment to finance his slate but that yielded only one movie - thesoon to be released 24 Hours - before dissolving last year.
"Once again, my latestexperience at Warner Bros with Barry Meyer, Alan Horn and Lorenzo DiBonaventura has been first class," Canton said. "I always feelhonored to have had a long history with them and everyone else at the studio.Additionally, my two years with Senator Entertainment has borne the fruits ofmany potential movies and I look forward to seeing those through aswell."
Canton brings film and TVprojects he was developing at The Canton Co into APG to be merged with theexisting development slate. All APG employees will report to him, and twoCanton Co employees Barbara Kalish and Michael Gordon join him at APG.
APG was founded in 1999alongside AMG - the management entity created by Ovitz, Yorn and JulieSilverman Yorn with clients including Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese,Cameron Diaz, Robin Williams, Tom Clancy, Samuel L Jackson and Heather Graham.
Since then it has producedwith AMG clients Ed Burns' Sidewalks Of New York and his brother Brian Burns' You Stupid Man, as well as setting up Michael Crichton's Timeline at Paramount with Richard Donner directing, TomClancy's Rainbow Six and WithoutRemorse at Paramount and TessGerritsen's Gravity at 20thCentury Fox.
Meanwhile APG/StudioCanal,whose projects are sold internationally by StudioCanal, has a slate including Godsend written by Mark Bomback, The Discrete Charm OfCharlie Monk adapted from DavidAmbrose's novel by Peter Buchman, Nightmare Creatures to which Ralph Zondag (Dinosaur) is attached to direct, Conquest Of Mexico written by William Wittliff and Tell No One being adapted from the novel by Harlan Coben by AlexKurtzmann and Roberto Orci.
Jake Bloom and StevenBrookman of Bloom Hergott Diemer & Cook negotiated the deal onCanton's behalf.