The first project to go under the three-year deal will be Rush, the in-production F1 drama co-financed by Cross Creek and Exclusive Media Group that marks the first project financed outside the studio system that Ron Howard is directing in 25 years.

The deal with Universal will cover at least six features produced and financed by Brian Oliver’s (pictured) Cross Creek. The partners added that they are “actively mining” Universal’s development slate for potential projects to be produced and financed by Cross Creek. 

Aside from Rush, the partners are considering The Creed Of Violence, which is in development at Universal and is based on a screenplay by Todd Field, who is on board to direct.

The budget range is $15-$65m with a projected average cost of $25m-$35m. Cross Creek plans to produce three to four titles a year with Universal committing to wide releases on at least two a year.

CAA, Eric Greenfeld of Rosenfeld, Sussman and Meyers and Chris Brearton and Ken Duetsch of O’Melveny & Myers brokered the deal with Universal on behalf of Cross Creek Pictures.

“Timmy (Thompson, CEO) and I are very excited to be in business with Adam, Donna, Jimmy Horowitz, and the rest of the Universal team and look forward to becoming a steady supplier of intelligent and commercial content to the studio,” Cross Creek president Oliver said.

“Cross Creek has established an amazing track record in just a short time,” Universal chairman Adam Fogelson and co-chairman Donna Langley said. “Timmy and Brian have excellent taste in film and we’re thrilled to be working with them to distribute future Cross Creek films.”

Exclusive Films International is handling sales outside North America on Rush and kicked off talks with buyers in Toronto earlier this month.