Nina Jacobson has made the transition from studio exec at DreamWorks, Universal and head of production at Disney to indie producer without missing a beat. And she scored from “The Hunger Games” writer Suzanne Collins the motherlode movie franchise that keeps on giving. Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which topped the box office last year, have grossed $1.5 billion worldwide. The next installment, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” will be released on November 21, 2014, followed by the final film in the series, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” on November 20, 2015.
Now Jacobson has landed something that’s hard to come by these days: a three-year first-look studio production deal. She and partner Brad Simpson’s production company Color Force have signed with Fox 2000 Pictures chief Elizabeth Gabler (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Life of Pi”). Jacobson has been open about her distaste for studio deals which tend to hamper rather than enhance a producer’s chances of delivering a slate of strong movies. That’s what’s significant here: Gabler is someone that Jacobson respects, for her taste, experience and track record as well as her judgment–they worked together on Jacobson’s other franchise, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” It makes sense that these two women would partner up.
“Elizabeth Gabler is that rare executive who makes movies based on passion and instinct,” said Jacobson. “Her taste, integrity and conviction make Fox 2000 the perfect place for us to grow and expand our slate.”
Fox 2000 Senior VP Bryan Unkeless will oversee development for Color Force, which is currently developing the first project under the new deal, a feature film adaptation of Robert Crais’ best-selling novel “Suspect.”
Color Force likes do produce literary adaptions such as Lone Scherfig’s “One Day” for Focus Features. The company is currently developing the best-sellers “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” by Maria Semple, “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan and Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch.” The first TV series under Color Force’s first-look cable television deal with FX Productions, “OJ Simpson: The Run of His Life,” based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book, will premiere as a limited series on Fox in 2015.