EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios has closed an exclusive multiyear first-look film deal with Imagine Entertainment. In making Amazon its new movie home, co-founders Brian Grazer and Ron Howard will give Amazon first look on narrative features and documentaries Imagine intends to produce.
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Imagine’s deal had been at Apple. The Amazon deal comes just ahead of Prime Video’s April 21 release of the Amazon Studios/Imagine Entertainment’s documentary Judy Blume Forever. The film documents the life and legacy of trailblazing author Judy Blume, a seminal author to young girls whose best known work Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, has been turned into a James L. Brooks-produced narrative feature that Lionsgate releases April 28.
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The prolific Imagine is coming off the superb Ron Howard-directed Thai cave rescue drama Thirteen Lives, which was made by MGM but was most widely seen through Amazon Prime. The two companies already have an established relationship with a slate including the upcoming holiday comedy Candy Cane Lane, starring Eddie Murphy; the Emmy-winning documentary Lucy and Desi; and the spy action-comedy The U.S.P.S., which is in development at Amazon Studios.
“Whether it’s a captivating drama like Thirteen Lives or a poignant documentary like Lucy and Desi, the team at Imagine Entertainment has an incredible gift for storytelling,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon and MGM Studios. “As we look forward to more exciting projects on the horizon, we are honored to make our longstanding relationship official and to bring more powerful, engaging stories to audiences around the world.”
Said Imagine Entertainment president Justin Wilkes: “Brian, Ron and I — along with our entire team at Imagine including Karen Lunder, President of Imagine Features, and Sara Bernstein, President of Imagine Documentaries — couldn’t be more excited to have a home at Amazon and continue our shared desire to make tentpole films that inspire, elevate, and entertain audiences. The team at Amazon is best-in-class and loves making movies as much as we do. We can’t wait to expand our slate through this partnership.”
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