Under the deal Michael Witherill’s Rise will invest in development and financing of the slate at Christopher Columbus’ company, kicking off with the Anne Rice adaptation Christ The Lord.
“This partnership is a dream come true for all of us at 1492,” said Columbus. “For years we have searched for partners as supportive and inspired as the group at Rise. Mike and his amazing team will enable us to make films with a wide emotional and commercial range, pictures with deep artistic integrity that will stand the test of time.”
“We could not be more honoured to partner with Chris, Michael and Mark,” said Witherill. “Clearly, films directed by Chris and produced by 1492 Pictures have a track record that speaks for itself. We view ourselves as the supporting cast to fuel the unparalleled creative talent of the guys at 1492.”
Christ The Lord is set to commence shooting in March in Rome and Matera in Italy. The story is based on Rice’s bestseller about the seven-year-old Jesus who returns with his family to the war-torn Holy Land.
Betsy and Cyrus Nowrasteh wrote the screenplay and Nowrasteh will direct as his follow-up to The Stoning Of Soraya M. 1492 will produce with Rise and CJ E&M.
The initial roster includes the wartime family drama Home Front, which Columbus will direct next summer from his adaptation of the novel by Kristin Hannah.
House Of Secrets is based on the first of an upcoming fantasy trilogy that Columbus is co-writing with Ned Vizzini. Columbus adapted the screenplay and is lined up to direct in January 2014.