Brad Weston, who ran New Regency as it produced "Birdman" and "The Revenant," has announced his new production company — Makeready.
Weston, who left New Regency about a year ago, said Wednesday he has formed a new film and TV venture with funding from Canadian firm Entertainment One and a distribution deal with Universal Pictures. Financial details were not disclosed.
Based in Culver City, the new company plans to release two films a year starting in 2018. Universal will release the movies throughout most of the world, including in the United States. Entertainment One will handle distribution in countries including Canada, Britain, Australia and Spain. Makeready also plans to make high-end shows aimed for premium cable channels and streaming services.
Weston, 52, has not announced his first movie with Makeready, but several television projects are in the works, including a series called "Saigon," produced by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way shingle. Pam Abdy, the former New Regency production chief who has joined Weston's firm, picked up "They Can't Kill Us All," a book about the Black Lives Matter movement, to turn into a limited series.
Weston served as president and chief executive of New Regency for five years until he stepped down last year to start his own company. He has spent the intervening months carefully plotting his next move in the entertainment industry, which has become increasingly challenging because of stagnant theater attendance.
During his tenure at New Regency, the firm founded by Israeli billionaire Arnon Milchan, the company worked with prestigious directors and made movies including "The Big Short" and "The Revenant," which were both nominated for best picture Oscars. New Regency's "Birdman" won four Oscars, including the top prize, in 2015. Weston said his new company will take a similar filmmaker-focused approach to the business.
"We will make any scope of film, primarily filmmaker-driven, commercial pictures that can be bold and get noticed in the crowded world," Weston said.
Before joining New Regency, he served as Paramount Pictures' production president until 2009 under the studio's then-chairman and CEO Brad Grey, who died unexpectedly this week.
1:50 p.m.: This article was updated with a new comment from Brad Weston.