By Travis Johnson

See-Saw Films, the UK/Australian production company behind such acclaimed works as Lion, has signed a three year first look deal with New Regency.

Under the agreement, See-Saw will develop feature films for financing and co-production with New Regency, who will also provide global studio distribution through their deal with 20th Century Fox.

The announcement was made by New Regency Chairman Yariv Milchan and See-Saw managing directors Iain Canning and Emile Sherman [pictured].

This agreement extends the already-extant relationship between the two companies, who are currently producing Widows, to be directed by Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and starring Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriquez and Cynthia Erivo, along with Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Robert Duvall and Daniel Kaluuya.

Following on from the critical and financial success of Lion and Top of the Lake: China Girl, See-Saw’s next major production will be Mary Magdalene, which sees Lion director Garth Davis and star Rooney Mara alongside Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus. The film is expected around Easter, appropriately enough.

From a business strategy point of view, the new agreement distances See-Saw from their previous close relationship with the scandal-wracked Weinstein Company, who handled North American distribution for a number of See-Saw films, including Lion and The King’s Speech. Going forward, a buy-out might not be out of the question, depending on the success of the first three years.

“See-Saw has an extensive track record of producing features that are both beautifully crafted and deeply impactful. We are eager to begin working with their expanding team and build upon our close relationship with Iain and Emile, who share our passion for creating exceptional auteur-driven films,” said New Regency’s Yariv Milchan.

Canning and Sherman said, “A decade into See-Saw, this partnership with our friends at New Regency allows us to continue to make bold, smart, commercial movies with taste and heart. We can support our filmmakers at all budget sizes and across all genres including the ability to tell distinctive US stories for a global audience. Having access to global studio distribution, without sacrificing our focus on quality, director-led films is what makes this partnership truly special.”




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