StewartTill's fledgling Signpost Films, which kicked off its slate with the $55m Bulletproof Monk starring Chow Yun-fat, is now set to addto its pipeline through a pact with heavyweight producer Larry Gordon, theformer 20th Century Fox production chief.
It is anticipatedthat Gordon will produce at least one film a year, which Signpost Films willdistribute on a worldwide basis. "This is the one producer thatI've been chasing since we started planning Signpost Films," said CEOTill in a statement yesterday. "I am honoured and thrilled that Signpostnow has this agreement with truly one of the world's top producers, notleast because Field Of Dreams and Die Hardare two of my top five films of all time.
Gordon,who next week receives the David O Selznick lifetime award from the ProducersGuild of America, has had a prolific career as a Hollywood producer. Besidesthe two films singled out by Till, his producing credits include Lara Croft:Tomb Raider, K-Pax, Point Break, Waterworld, Boogie Nights, Predator, The Warriors, Hooper and 48 Hours.
AlthoughSignpost had not made a public statement about its involvement in Monk, it is an open secret Till'soutfit was busily handing out numbered scripts at Berlin to the periodaction-adventure. Its American Film Market office has been besieged early on withbuyers seeking out the Charles Roven-hatched Monk, which starts shooting in twoweeks time in Toronto.
The project had previously been set up atMGM under Roven's deal with the studio. At press time, MGM was finalisinga deal to handle the North American release. The picture is produced by Roven,John Woo and Terence Chang and will be directed by Paul Hunter.
Appearingalongside Chow is Seann William Scott and Jaime King, the model who haspreviously appeared in Slackers and Blow under her modeling name, James King.
The story, written by Ethan Reiff andCyrus Voris, starts in 1943 and sees a young monk (Chow) take charge of anancient scroll sought by the Nazis. It moves on to the present day when themonk, who has barely aged, teams up with a street hustler (Scott) and agorgeous girl gangster (King) to be once again confronted by the Nazis andtheir successors.
Signpost,which was formed by former PolyGram chief Till in January with the backing ofCDP Capital Communications and Mosaic Media Group, recently signed a first lookdeal with Miramax Films that carries a commitment on Miramax's part torelease an agreed minimum number of titles. Under the agreement, Miramax alsoacquired a stake in Signpost, reported to be around 10%
Tillplans to produce four to six films a year, expanding its output to up to fortyfilms in the first five years with an estimated production/distribution spendof more than $2bn. Other than Larry Gordon, the company has production dealswith Roven's Atlas Entertainment and Eric Gold and Jimmy Miller'sGold/Miller Co, both divisions of Mosaic Media Group.
Signpostwill distribute its own films in major international territories including theUK, setting up distribution on a territory-by-territory basis in much the sameway that PolyGram grew its international network. Sales to the remaininginternational territories will be handled in-house under sales chief NicoleMackey.