Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment Sets First-Look Deal with Amazon

The news comes two years after the company made a similar multi-year film deal with Apple.
Thirteen Lives

After the release of “Thirteen Lives,” Amazon is apparently hoping to stay in business with Imagine Entertainment. Amazon Studios has inked a new, multiyear first-look film deal with Imagine Entertainment, the production company co-founded and chaired by Ron Howard and Brian Glazer, it was announced Friday.

Under the terms of this new deal, Amazon Studios will have first look dibs on the narrative and documentary features Imagine Entertainment produces, and the first opportunity to secure distribution rights for the production company’s projects.

Last year, Amazon distributed two projects from Imagine Entertainment through Prime Video: “Thirteen Lives,” which was directed by Howard, and the documentary “Lucy and Desi,” from Amy Poehler. Next month, Amazon will release Imagine’s documentary “Judy Blume Forever,” and is set to distribute future Imagine projects like “Candy Cane Lane” starring Eddie Murphy and a spy action-comedy “The U.S.P.S.”

“Whether it’s a captivating drama like ‘Thirteen Lives’ or a poignant documentary like Lucy and Desi, the team at Imagine Entertainment has an incredible gift for storytelling,” Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon and MGM Studios, said in a statement. “As we look forward to more exciting projects on the horizon, we are honored to make our longstanding relationship official and to bring more powerful, engaging stories to audiences around the world.”

News of Imagine’s deal with Amazon comes only two years after the company signed a similar multi-year, first-look deal with Apple. Since that deal was signed in 2021, Apple TV+ has only premiered three projects from the production company: a “Peanuts” 70th anniversary special, a Louis Armstrong documentary, and the TV series “Swagger;” the streamer will also distribute “The Beanie Bubble,” an upcoming comedy from Imagine starring Zach Galifianakis, Elizabeth Banks, and Sarah Snook.

“Brian, Ron, and I, along with our entire team at Imagine including Karen Lunder, President of Imagine Features, and Sara Bernstein, President of Imagine Documentaries, couldn’t be more excited to have a home at Amazon and continue our shared desire to make tentpole films that inspire, elevate, and entertain audiences,” Justin Wilkes, president of Imagine Entertainment, said in a statement. “The team at Amazon is best-in-class and loves making movies as much as we do. We can’t wait to expand our slate through this partnership.”

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