Columbia Pictures has just announced that they have extended their first look deal with producer Neal H. Moritz, responsible for recent films like The Green Hornet and the upcoming Battle: Los Angeles and Fast Five. The full press statement is as follows:
Neal H. Moritz, founder of Original Film and producer of such high-profile forthcoming motion pictures as Battle: Los Angeles and Fast Five, has extended his first-look development and production pact with Columbia Pictures for three more years, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures. The extension of Moritzs deal comes 18 months before his current deal was set to expire and continues a successful partnership and collaboration with Sony, the studio that has been his home since he produced I Know What You Did Last Summer in 1997.
“We have been working together with Neal for nearly 15 years and over that time, we have partnered with him and his team on more than 20 films, most recently with The Green Hornet and Battle: Los Angeles,” Belgrad said. “He is simply one of the best and most prolific producers in the business. He knows what audiences want and is completely dedicated to delivering hits that audiences worldwide consistently enjoy while being fully conscious to bring his projects in on budget and on time.
Neal is an important member of the Sony Pictures family and the kind of producer you want in your corner. He has terrific taste for stories that excite the imagination of audiences everywhere. We have established a level of trust and confidence in him that can only come from the kind of long term success we have shared together for so many years, said Amy Pascal, co-chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Moritz added, Sony has been my home almost since I first started producing and I couldnt ask for a better or more supportive studio partner. Amy, Michael, Doug and the entire production team is first rate. They are truly the best as creative collaborators and problem solvers, and they are backed by Jeff Blakes marketing and distribution team. There is a reason that I continue to call Sony my home and it has everything to do with the pleasure I get from being part of such a great, winning team. Years from now, when I have produced the last film of my career, it will probably be made with my friends at Sony.
Moritz has produced a total of 15 No. 1 hits, most recently The Green Hornet for Columbia Pictures. As the founder of Original Film, he has been producing feature film and television for over three decades.
He is currently in production on the Universal Pictures comedy The Change Up starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman and helmed by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers). His next film to be released is Fast Five, the fifth installment of The Fast and The Furious franchise, starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne The Rock Johnson.
Films in pre-production include , 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum , directed by Chris Miller & Phil Lord, and Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell and directed by Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard), R.I.P.D., starring Ryan Reynolds and Zach Galifianakis, and Jack the Giant Killer directed by Bryan Singer. With over 40 films to his credit, past titles include, most recently, The Green Hornet, which opened to #1 at the box office and has since taken in over $200 million worldwide; The Fast and Furious series, I Am Legend, XXX, S.W.A.T., Made of Honor, Gridiron Gang, Bounty Hunter, Evan Almighty, Sweet Home Alabama, Click, Vantage Point, Out of Time, Blue Streak, Cruel Intentions, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Skulls, Volcano, Urban Legend, and Juice.
Moritz television credits include the HBO movie The Rat Pack, which earned 11 Emmy nominations, the drama series Prison Break for Twentieth Century Fox, and Showtimes highly acclaimed new series The Big C, starring Laura Linney and Oliver Platt.
A graduate of UCLA with a degree in Economics, Moritz went on to get a graduate degree from the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program at the University of Southern California.