WGA Pacts with Spyglass and MRC


The Writers Guild of America has reached interim agreements with Spyglass Entertainment and Media Rights Capital, the guild’s fourth and fifth such pacts following similar deals with Worldwide Pants, United Artists and The Weinstein Company, reports Variety.

The WGA disclosed the new deals Monday as the writers strike moved into its 11th week.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) issued a statement downplaying the impact of the Spyglass and MRC interim deals, asserting, “These one-off agreements are meaningless because the companies signing them know they will not have to abide by their terms for very long, since they’ll be superseded by whatever final industrywide accords are reached. If companies truly had to live by the terms of these one-off agreements, we are confident none would ever be signed.”

But Spyglass executive Gary Barber said he was pleased to ink the pact. “We’re back in business,” he added. “We’ll go back into full production mode, developing scripts and looking for new projects.”

Barber didn’t identify specific films, but the interim deal will allow Spyglass to move forward on projects including Ironbow: The Legend of William Tell, which has director Kevin Reynolds attached. In recent months, Spyglass picked up bigscreen rights to Neil Strauss dating novel “The Game,” with Dan Weiss signed to adapt, and remake rights to David Cronenberg’s The Brood, with Cory Goodman on board to pen the screenplay.

As for MRC, the deal allows it to go forward on a slate of features with Sacha Baron Cohen and Cameron Diaz and directors Robert Rodriguez, Ricky Gervais, Richard Kelly, Walter Salles, Bennett Miller and Todd Field. MRC’s planning to move into TV production and is engaged in the creation of digital content through pacts with thesp Raven-Symone and “Family Guy” creator-executive producer Seth MacFarlane.

Terms of the MRC agreement are similar to those in the Worldwide Pants and UA deals, which contain online residuals of 2.5% of distributor’s gross for TV programming and 2% for films.