Steven Spielberg, Principal Partner, DreamWorks Studios, Jeff Skoll, Chairman, Participant Media, Anil Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Group and Darren Throop, President and Chief Executive Officer, Entertainment One (eOne) announced today the formation of Amblin Partners, a new film, television and digital content creation company. The new company will create content using the Amblin, DreamWorks Pictures and Participant brands and leverage their power and broad awareness to tell stories that appeal to a wide range of audiences. Participant Media will remain a separate company that continues to independently develop, produce and finance projects with socially relevant themes. In a separate announcement, Universal Pictures revealed that they have entered into a multi-year partnership with Amblin Partners to market and distribute their films domestically and in select international markets.
Amblin Partners will be led by CEO Michael Wright and President and COO Jeff Small. In addition, Amblin Television will become a division of Amblin Partners and continues to be run by co-presidents Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank, who maintain their longtime leadership roles. They join Producer Kristie Macosko Krieger and President of Production Holly Bario on the film side, to complete Amblin Partners' senior management team.
David Linde, Chief Executive Officer of Participant Media, and Participant's narrative feature team, led by Executive Vice President Jonathan King, will work closely with Amblin Partners to develop and produce specific content for the new venture in addition to exploring opportunities for co-productions and other content. In making the announcement about Amblin Partners, Mr. Spielberg had this to say.
"We are thrilled to partner with Jeff Skoll, Participant Media, and to continue our prolific relationship. We are of like minds, as our many collaborations have illustrated, with a mutual commitment to quality, premium entertainment and global vision. We are honored to continue our long-term association with our dear friend, Anil Ambani and his team at Reliance. We have had the opportunity to develop and produce wonderful films thanks to their ongoing support. We are also grateful to Darren Throop and his team at Entertainment One for their contribution to Amblin Partners. We look forward to expanding our relationship.""
DreamWorks Studios and Participant Media have collaborated on many Academy Award nominated films such as Lincoln and The Help as well as the critically acclaimed The Hundred-Foot Journey and the recently released Bridge of Spies. Participant Media most recently released the critically-acclaimed Spotlight, which is currently playing in theaters. Here's what Participant's Jeff Skoll had to say in a statement.
"I have had the good fortune of working with Steven for many years. We share a passion for stories that can truly affect change. And this new venture will further Participant's growth and global impact."
Through this new partnership, eOne extends its collaboration into television production and distribution and expands its successful film distribution relationship across additional territories. eOne will handle the direct distribution of Amblin Partners films on a multi-territory output basis in Australia/New Zealand and Spain as well as the United Kingdom and the Benelux, where it previously had a successful output arrangement with DreamWorks Studios. Here's what Reliance's Anil Ambani had to say in his statement.
"We are delighted to continue our now seven-years-strong relationship with our valued partner, Steven Spielberg, and to extend this alliance to the formation of Amblin Partners with Jeff Skoll. We look forward to the combination of Steven's passion and integrity with Jeff's unique socially conscious vision to create uplifting and quality content to entertain global audiences."
J.P.Morgan Chase structured and arranged the $500 million debt syndication together with Comerica Bank, which served as Co-Lead. Other financial institutions involved included Sun Trust Bank, Union Bank, City National Bank and Bank of America, among others. J.P.Morgan Chase and its predecessors have financed DreamWorks Studios since its inception in 1994. Here's what Entertainment One's Darren Throop had to say in his statement.
"We are delighted to join Steven Spielberg, Jeff Skoll and Reliance in launching this unique new venture. We continually strive to partner with producers of the highest quality content, and Amblin Partners certainly represents the gold standard."
Under terms of the agreement, Universal Pictures and Focus Features will handle distribution and marketing for approximately four to seven Amblin Partners films each year. The first title, The Girl on the Train, will be released in October 2016. Here's what Universal's Jeff Shell and Donna Langley had to say in their statement.
"We couldn't be more pleased to be back in business with Steven. His iconic films have stood the test of time and are embraced by audiences around the world. We look forward to working with Steven and Amblin Partners as we build on 2015's record-breaking year."
Today's announcement brings Steven Spielberg back to his old home at Universal Pictures, where he directed blockbusters such as Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Jurassic Park. The director always maintained his Amblin offices on the Universal Pictures lot, even when DreamWorks was aligned with Paramount and Disney. Since DreamWorks' pact with Disney is about to expire, their partnership with Universal was expected for quite some time. Here's what the director had to say in a statement about returning to Universal.
"The same magnet that pulled me to Universal when I first wanted to make movies is bringing me home again to this new exciting relationship. It is my hope that we can make some more beautiful music together."
Amblin Partners is a content creation company formed by DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One (eOne). The company develops and produces films using the Amblin, DreamWorks Pictures and Participant banners and includes Amblin Television, a longtime leader in quality programming. Film projects in various stages of production include: The BFG and The Light Between Oceans, scheduled for release by Disney in 2016; The Girl on the Train, scheduled for release in October 2016; A Dog's Purpose, scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2017 and Ready Player One, a co-production between Amblin Partners and Warner Bros. Pictures that is scheduled to be released in December of 2017. Upcoming shows from Amblin TV include All the Way an HBO movie directed by Jay Roach and starring Bryan Cranston, with an airdate to be announced shortly; and American Gothic, a summer series that will air on CBS and begin production in February 2016.