MGM Signs First Look Production Deal With Jennifer Todd

Brent Lang

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has closed a first look production deal with Jennifer Todd, the producer of “Alice In Wonderland” and “Memento,” and her company Jennifer Todd Pictures.

There have been murmurs that Todd was going to ally herself with MGM for months. She has a long-standing business relationship with Michael De Luca, who took over as MGM’s Film Group chairman in January. The pair worked together when De Luca oversaw New Line Pictures in the 1990’s, producing hits such as “Boiler Room” and the Austin Powers franchise. They also teamed up to produce the Academy Awards in 2017 and 2018 — both shows were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

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Since taking the reins at MGM from Jonathan Glickman, De Luca has made several splashy moves. He tapped former New Regency executive Pamela Abdy to serve as MGM Film Group president and made a play to snag Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” when Paramount got worried about the budget, though ultimately losing out to Apple.

Many things have panned out, however. MGM tapped Phil Lord and Chris Miller to direct Ryan Gosling in an astronaut movie, nabbed “Hamilton” director Thomas Kail to oversee a remake of “Fiddler on the Roof,” and acquired North American rights to the George Miller-directed “Three Thousand Years of Longing” with Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton. Other upcoming MGM films, produced before De Luca joined, include the upcoming James Bond adventure “No Time to Die” and “Respect” starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin.

“MGM’s enduring legacy as a home for great storytellers is further burnished with the addition of Jennifer to our studio family,” said De Luca in a statement.

In her own statement, Todd said, “I started my career producing films for Mike and am thrilled to have the opportunity again. Mike, Pam and I share a deep love of film and I’m very excited to see what we can make together”.

Todd recently produced “The Way Back,” a basketball drama that snagged some good reviews for Ben Affleck, but failed to ignite at the box office. She is also an executive producer of Showtime’s “City on a Hill” starring Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge. Her deal was negotiated by Michael Gendler of Gendler & Kelly.

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