Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) and The Jim Henson Co. have signed a two-year first-look deal to produce live-action feature films. The Henson-MGM deal came together after a successful relationship working together on the hit family comedy GOOD BOY!, a live-action film produced by Jim Henson Pictures, which one of the most profitable releases for MGM in 2003.
The Henson group was an extreme pleasure to work with on GOOD BOY!, and were incredibly pleased with the way that film was received by audiences of all ages, said Chris McGurk, vice-chairman/coo of MGM.
This is an exciting endeavor for us, said Lisa Henson, co-chair and co-ceo (with Brian Henson) of The Jim Henson Co. As The Jim Henson Co. focuses on our live-action and fantasy business, this new partnership with MGM is particularly thrilling because they share a desire to produce innovative family entertainment. Our features group, led by Kristine Belson, takes great pride in its ability to develop and produce films of the highest quality and, equipped with the tremendous resources and global distribution strength of MGM, we look forward to breaking new ground in making quality films for audiences of all ages.
The agreement covers all of Hensons live-action feature film projects but does not include titles involving the Muppets or BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE, the rights to which were recently acquired by The Walt Disney Co. The deal also excludes Hensons animation slate, which currently has several projects in development.
The Jim Henson Co., an established leader in family entertainment for nearly half a century, is recognized worldwide as a leader in puppetry, animatronics and computer graphics. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets (the rights to which are now owned by The Walt Disney Co.), Henson is the recipient of nearly 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Additionally, Jim Henson's Creature Shop has received two Academy Awards for the visual effects and animatronic builds for the 1996 smash BABE, and the invention of the Henson Performance Control System a powerful, custom-built puppeteering mechanism. Recent projects include the Emmy nominated FARSCAPE, the family film GOOD BOY! and the upcoming feature FIVE CHILDREN AND IT, starring Eddie Izzard as the voice of "It". Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices and production facilities in New York and London, The Henson Website is located at: www.henson.com
MGM, through its MGM Studios subsidiary, produces and distributes entertainment product worldwide (4,000 film titles), including motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. Its operating units include MGM Pictures, United Artists, MGM Television Ent., MGM Networks, MGM Distribution Co., MGM Worldwide Television Distribution, MGM Home Ent., MGM On Stage, MGM Consumer Products, MGM Music, MGM Interactive and MGM Online. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international television channels reaching more than 100 countries on six continents. For more information, visit www.mgm.com