Spyglass Media Group Hires Kristin Cotich as EVP of Worldwide Communications

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Gary Barber’s Spyglass Media Group announced on Monday that it has hired former MGM communications chief Kristin Cotich as the company’s executive vice president of worldwide communications.

In her role, Cotich will be responsible for developing and executing worldwide communications strategies and implementing initiatives across all of the company’s divisions and content, as well as overseeing its internal and external communications.

“I am delighted to welcome Kristin to our growing leadership team,” Barber said in a statement. “She is a highly respected communications executive whose trusted strategic thinking will be a tremendous asset as we shape our narrative and position Spyglass as a formidable premium content company.”

Also Read: Lantern Entertainment Partners With Gary Barber to Launch Spyglass Media Group

Cotich previously worked closely with Barber at MGM, where she served as executive vice president for worldwide communications when Barber was chairman and CEO of the studio. Cotich left MGM last August.

Before MGM, Cotich was a vice president of national publicity and corporate communications at Overture Films before joining Relativity Media as a vice president of corporate communications. She began her career in the publicity department at DreamWorks SKG.

Cotich will be based in the company’s Los Angeles headquarters and joins Cheryl Rodman, who was recently announced as Spyglass’ chief legal officer.

Also Read: Gary Barber’s Spyglass Media Group Hires Cheryl Rodman as Chief Legal Officer

Spyglass Media Group launched last week in a partnership between Barber and Lantern Entertainment co-presidents Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic, and strategic investors Eagle Pictures and Cineworld Group. The company is primarily focused on developing, producing, financing and acquiring premium content worldwide for theatrical, network, cable and streaming platforms.

Spyglass is now home to more than 250 film library titles, scripted and unscripted television series since Lantern acquired the assets of The Weinstein Company out of bankruptcy last year. Some of the titles include “Project Runway;”  Academy Award winners “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist;” as well as box office hits “Inglourious Basterds,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Hateful Eight” and “Django Unchained.”

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Lantern Entertainment Partners With Gary Barber to Launch Spyglass Media Group

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Lantern Entertainment co-presidents Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic announced on Wednesday that they’ve joined up with Gary Barber’s Spyglass to launch Spyglass Media Group.

The partnership, which includes Italy’s largest indie distributor Eagle Pictures and Cineworld Group — one of the world’s largest cinema chains — as strategic investors, creates an independent premium content company that comes with a majority investment from Lantern.

Headquartered in Century City, the company will be led by Barber, who will serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and oversee all operations.

“I am excited to partner with Andy and Milos and am grateful for the support of Eagle and Cineworld, who have shown unwavering commitment as we build this preeminent content company,” Barber said in a statement. “There could not be a better time to produce compelling and crowd-pleasing content for worldwide distribution across multiple platforms.”

Also Read: MGM Partners With Lantern Entertainment to Develop, Distribute ‘Boys in the Boat’

With the infusion of funding from Lantern, Spyglass plans to be uniquely positioned to execute on its business plan to develop, finance and produce premium content for theatrical, network, cable and streaming platforms as well as acquire accretive assets and explore strategic opportunities, the company said in a news release.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In July 2018, Lantern acquired the assets of The Weinstein Company out of bankruptcy for $289 million. It walked away with three unreleased films after haggling with filmmakers and producers over the rights to some of the projects, and a library of content.

Through the new venture, Spyglass will own and control all of Lantern Entertainment’s current assets, including a wealth of development projects and more than 250 film library titles, as well as scripted and unscripted television series, such as “Project Runway,” which will return home to Bravo for its 17th season when it premieres March 14.

Also Read: STXFilms Lands Global Rights to Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston Film ‘The Upside’ From Lantern Entertainment

Lantern’s library of films acquired in the TWC sale include Academy Award winners “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist;” box office hits “Inglourious Basterds,”Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Hateful Eight” and “Django Unchained” and genre franchises “Hellraiser” and “Scream.”

“The Upside,” starring Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman was picked up as part of the acquisition as well and distributed by STXfilms. The film has grossed more than $100 million at the domestic box office.

“Gary Barber is the optimal leader and partner for this company and we are grateful to launch Spyglass with our new strategic investors at Eagle and Cineworld. Beyond his day-to-day management, Gary’s guidance and expertise will be a fundamental asset for the growth of our company,” Mitchell and Brajovic said in a joint statement.

Also Read: ‘The Current War,’ ‘Polaroid’ Get Overseas Distribution in Lantern Entertainment Partnership With 13 Films

Barber, who founded production company Spyglass Entertainment in 1998, most recently served as chairman and CEO of MGM before he was abruptly let go a year ago.

He helped lead MGM’s turn-around out of bankruptcy; restoring the studio’s prominence by revitalizing its film and television businesses; expanding its distribution footprint across traditional and digital platforms and posting successive years of profitability.

During his tenure, the James Bond franchise, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, reached record numbers with the release of its 23rd and 24th installments of the long-running franchise for “Skyfall” and “Spectre,” becoming the highest grossing Bond films of all time. The studio also managed to revive the Rocky franchise under his watch with “Creed” and the studio’s impressive roster of releases and co-productions included the “Hobbit” trilogy, “The Magnificent Seven,” “Me Before You,” “21 Jump Street” and “22 Jump Street.”

Also Read: Inside Gary Barber’s Ouster: MGM Board Clashes, Planting Sale Rumors

Films produced by Spyglass Entertainment have grossed more than $5 billion in worldwide box office to date and amassed more than 34 Oscar nominations and four wins. Spyglass saw success with such films as “The Sixth Sense,”  “Bruce Almighty,” “Seabiscuit,” “The Insider,”  “Star Trek” and “27 Dresses,” to name a few.

Prior to Spyglass, Barber served as vice chairman and chief operating officer of Morgan Creek Productions and president of Vestron International Group.

“Eagle Pictures and Gary have teamed up on high quality projects for international distribution over the years.  It is only fitting that we would expand that relationship and join forces on a strategic partnership for Spyglass,” Eagle Pictures CEO Andrea Goretti said in a statement. “With Gary’s incomparable stewardship, the company’s valuable library assets, Eagle’s strong foothold in Europe and Cineworld’s tremendous worldwide footprint, Spyglass is well-positioned to be a prominent global content supplier.”

Also Read: MGM Ducks Gary Barber’s Departure in Yearly Earnings Call

The Spyglass senior leadership team is expected to expand, with announcements to come soon.

Moelis & Company LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor in connection with the transaction. Venable LLP acted as a legal advisor for Gary Barber and DLA Piper served as legal advisors for Lantern Entertainment.

“We are thrilled to enter into a partnership with Spyglass and strengthen our 30 year relationship with Gary,” Cineworld Group CEO Mooky Greidinger said in a statement. “We are proud to be part of this promising venture and are confident of its success.”

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Mattel and MGM to Make a Live-Action View-Master Movie Somehow

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Remember those old plastic View-Masters your parents (and grandparents) played with as kids? Well, they’ll soon be heading to the big screen at a multiplex near you.

Mattel Films and MGM announced Wednesday that they are teaming up for a live-action film based on the vintage View-Master toy. We’re not sure how that is going to work, but we’re definitely intrigued.

“Since the 1940s, View-Master has inspired wonder and joy in children of all ages, creating huge opportunities for storytelling,” Robbie Brenner, Mattel’s Head of Film, said in a statement. “MGM Pictures has tremendous expertise and a proven track record in capturing audiences’ imagination through film, and we’re proud to be partnering with them to bring another Mattel franchise to theaters.”

Also Read: ‘American Girl’ Doll Movie in the Works at Mattel, Original Film (Exclusive)

Mattel Films and MGM will co-produce the film. Brenner and Cassidy Lange, MGM’s co-president of Production, will oversee production.

View-Master was the first device that allowed families all over the world to escape their reality and take them places they never thought they could go. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Mattel to create a family adventure integrating the old school turn and click stereotypic device with the modern world of virtual reality,” said Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s president, Motion Picture Group, added.

This marks the second recent collaboration between Mattel Films and MGM, following in the plastic-heeled footsteps of the American Girl brand. Films based on Hot Wheels and Barbie, starring and co-produced by Academy Award-nominated actress Margot Robbie, are also in the works.

Also Read: Margot Robbie in Talks to Star in Barbie Movie At Warner Bros

First launched at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the View-Master was named by Time as one of the 100 All Time Greatest Toys in 2011 and inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Mattel’s updated version of the classic toy now brings the user experience to a whole new level of realism with View-Master VR.

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Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway are ‘Dirty Rotten’ Con Artists in ‘The Hustle’ Trailer (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“The Hustle” is the second gender-swapped remake Anne Hathaway has starred in after last year’s “Ocean’s 8.” And she’s now teaming up with Rebel Wilson for this new take on “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” the 1988 comedy starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin as a pair of con artists who team up for a big score.

MGM released the first trailer for “The Hustle” Tuesday, and in it, Wilson plays an amateur con artist who is taken under the wing by Hathaway’s elegant pro, sporting a sophisticated British accent no less. Their motto is that men will always underestimate women, and they can use that to their advantage.

Hathaway asks Wilson in the trailer, why are women better suited to the con job than men? “Because we’re used to faking it,” Wilson replies. “Because no man will ever believe a woman is smarter than she is.”

Also Read: Rebel Wilson Apologizes to Mo’Nique for Calling Herself the First Plus-Size Rom-Com Star

Hathaway then trains Wilson in the art of disguise and deception, everything from throwing knives to Wilson disguising herself as a blind woman.

“Veep” executive producer Chris Addison is making his directorial debut on the film from a script by Stanley Shapiro & Paul Henning and Dale Launer and Jac Schaeffer. And Tim Blake Nelson also stars in the comedy that’s due out May 10.

Watch the first trailer for “The Hustle” above.

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MGM’s Epix Launches Streaming Service Priced at $5.99 Per Month

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Epix is getting into the streaming game. The MGM-owned premium cabler announced the launch of its new digital platform, Epix Now, during the Television Critics Association press tour Sunday — the same day the service went live.

Priced at $5.99 per month, Epix Now will feature Epix’s “full library of critically acclaimed original programming and blockbuster movies,” including the network’s upcoming Batman prequel series “Pennyworth,” the Forest Whitaker-led “Godfather of Harlem,” and drama “Perpetual Grace, LTD,” starring Ben Kingsley and Jimmi Simpson; along with the docuseries “PUNK” from Iggy Pop and “Elvis Goes There” with Elvis Mitchell.

Returning seasons of the network’s original series “Get Shorty,” “Berlin Station” and “Deep State” will also be streaming on Epix Now, along with “thousands of hit Hollywood movies and classic film franchises.”

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Epix Now is currently available for download in the App store for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV and in Google Play for Android phones and tablets. Epix noted the streaming service is “coming soon” to Roku devices and Amazon Fire TV, and “will continue rolling out across additional devices over the course of the year.”

Per Epix: “The launch of the streaming service is the network’s latest expansion in distribution, giving subscribers access to EPIX’s premium entertainment. Users will have the ability to stream content from the app to any connected TV screen, download movies and episodes for offline viewing and have access to continually updated curated collections, trailers and more as well as 4K Ultra HD streaming on supported devices. All four EPIX linear live channels are also available today through EPIX NOW on select connected TV devices, including Apple TV.”

“2019 is poised to be an incredible year of growth for our network,” Michael Wright, President, EPIX, said. “Launching EPIX Now and providing consumers nationwide with access to our premium original programming and blockbuster movies is an exciting moment for our company and solidifies our commitment to bring high-level storytelling to as many people as possible. We look forward to welcoming new audiences to our network.”

Also Read: Epix Picks Up ‘Belgravia’ Limited Series From ‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Julian Fellowes

“EPIX has always been committed to reaching consumers wherever and however they want to watch content,” EPIX EVP and General Manager, Monty Sarhan, added. “We’re incredibly excited that EPIX NOW expands our national footprint through new partnerships and allows EPIX fans to continue to watch the shows they know and love anywhere, anytime.”

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