If the studios won’t do it, talent will. Expect more of these stand-alone indie prod combines to launch in order to develop material that the studios are disinclined to support.
Writer, director, producer and actor Casey Affleck (“The Assassination of Jesse James by that Coward Robert Ford,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “Out of the Furnace”) and producer John Powers Middleton (“Oldboy,” A&E’s “Bates Motel,” “The Lego Movie”) are launching a production company called the Untitled Casey Affleck/John Powers Middleton Project. They will create films and television series “spanning a wide variety of genres and budgets.”
With the formation of this new partnership, Affleck will serve as an equal share producer, while continuing to pursue writing, acting, and directing projects. Middleton will produce under the new banner while continuing to also produce at Vertigo Entertainment and Good Universe.
“We want to bring audiences the films they want to see,” stated Middleton. “Casey has such meticulous, exacting and extraordinary vision. In baseball terminology, he’s a true five-tool player: a brilliant writer, actor, director, producer, and, maybe most importantly, a brilliant company builder. I couldn’t ask for a better partner. I look forward to many years of creative and business collaboration.”
The partners have named ex-Warner Bros. executive John Ridley as President of Production. Ridley previously served as Vice President of Development and Production at Appian Way, overseeing “Live By Night,” “Twilight Zone,” and “Devil in the White City” among other projects. On the television side, Ridley managed the Charles Manson Miniseries at TNT, the Untitled Q-Tip Project at F/X, the Untitled Betty Ford Miniseries for NBC, and The Natural History Specials at Discovery Channel. Alex Foster will serve as VP, Production for the company.
Affleck’s upcoming films include Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” John Hillcoat’s “Triple Nine,” and “Boston Strangler.” Affleck recently sold an animated comedy television series to FOX. His screenplay “The Trade” is set up at Warner Bros. with Jay Roach attached to direct. The untitled Josh Hamilton biopic, also written by Affleck, is currently in the works at Thunder Road with Affleck to direct.
Middleton also served as executive producer on the remake of “Oldboy” and “The Voices.” His upcoming projects “Poltergeist” and “Run All Night” are currently in post-production, set for wide releases later this year. He is producing an educational documentary, “Undroppable,” also set to premiere this year. He has over 35 movies and television shows currently in development, including “Minecraft,” “Ninjago,” “It,” and “The Stand.” Middleton serves as a producer at Vertigo Entertainment. Additionally, Vertigo founder Roy Lee and Middleton have a joint venture with Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane’s Good Universe.