Paramount Pictures has announced a two-year extension of its first-look deal with producer Neal Moritz, who delivered “Sonic the Hedgehog” to the studio and is producing the sequel.
The new deal, announced Wednesday, extends the studio’s relationship with Moritz through the end of 2023.
After a strong opening weekend, “Sonic the Hedgehog” went on to become the highest-grossing movie based on a video game domestically, with $146 million in the U.S. and $306 million worldwide. After its home entertainment release, the film also set Paramount’s record for first-day digital sales and became the studio’s all-time record-holder in less than three weeks.
In addition to the sequel to “Sonic the Hedgehog,” Moritz will also be producing “To Catch a Thief” and the upcoming mobster thriller “American Son.” Based on Jacques Audiard’s French film “A Prophet,” “American Son” will star Russell Crowe, with Andrew “Rapman” Onwubolu directing and Dennis Lehane writing the screenplay. Moritz and Toby Jaffe will be producing through their production company, Original Film.
Moritz is a producer on the “Fast and Furious” franchise for Universal and the “21 Jump Street” franchise at Sony. Other credits include “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Cruel Intentions,” “Sweet Home Alabama” and “I Am Legend.”
Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos said in a statement, “I am thrilled to extend this relationship with Neal and Original Film, which already has been so fruitful with the success of ‘Sonic the Hedgehog.’ Neal has a unique talent for identifying, developing and building franchises that truly capture audiences and embody the spirit of moviegoing.
Moritz said, “I am incredibly grateful for the support, confidence and faith that Jim and everyone at Paramount have shown me since we forged this partnership. I am overjoyed to be continuing this relationship and to see where our shared vision for pushing the boundaries of great entertainment takes us.”
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