The studio has signed a five-year deal with Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions (SSTP) to develop and produce stage versions of Sony films.

Under the terms of the agreement the distributor has purchased a 20% equity stake in SSTP, the New York-based production company specialising in theatre and live entertainment, which in return gets first-look privileges on Sony’s slate and will serve as its chief theatrical consigliere.

Sony president of worldwide business affairs and operations Andrew Gumpert negotiated the deal with Scott Sanders, the SSTP founder who leads the company with private equity partners Robert Kraft, David Kraft, Roy Furman and Jim Fantaci. Sony chairman and CEO Michael Lynton oversaw the transaction.

“Expanding our successful relationship with Scott Sanders was the natural next step that provides the studio with a talented Broadway partner to help bring our film and TV libraries to the stage, and further diversify the studio’s entertainment offerings,” said Lynton.

“Sony Pictures has given the world some of the most exciting and compelling films in history,” Sanders said. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such extraordinary source material, and to mine it for titles that make sense for theatrical adaptation. Our goal is to re-discover stories and characters which speak to the human experience and that audiences want to see again, but from a new perspective.”   

Sony’s president of worldwide music Lia Vollack has expanded her role to include the newly created position of evp of theatrical and she will oversee the studio’s theatrical productions and serve as Sony’s liaison with SSTP.  

Sanders has brought in Broadway industry veteran Sandy Block as producer / vp of theatre. Block will work with Sanders and producer / vp of theatre Carol Fineman.