The mysterious movie and television company has hired film industry veteran Oren Aviv, the former chief marketing officer for
Aviv, who was let go by Fox last fall, will oversee the development, production and marketing of movies at the new studio, which plans to release up to 10 films a year. He will serve as president and chief content officer for the company's motion picture division.
As the major Hollywood studios increasingly depend on big, expensive franchises for their box-office firepower, Simonds and his company are looking for more of a mid-budget slate, with films that cost $20 million to $60 million to make.
"The major studios are making fewer but more expensive films, and there's a vacuum that's been created," Simonds said in an interview.
The studio is also one of the latest entertainment companies to attract interest from investors in China. Jeff Robinov's new venture, Studio 8, recently announced a major investment from the Shanghai-based conglomerate Fosun International. Robinov left Burbank-based film studio
Describing the company as "next-generation," the executives said the studio would be nimble enough to respond quickly to major changes in the industry, including the fast rise of China as a film powerhouse and video streaming companies such as
"We're actually building the operation from the ground up with all these tectonic shifts in mind," Aviv said.
The company has promised movies in multiple genres with major stars in signature roles, though no projects have been announced yet.
Simonds said there are currently 20 projects in various stages of development, all with scripts and stars attached to them, though he declined to name any of the actors involved. He said he expected to announce six films in the coming months.
On the TV side, NBC recently picked up the
Aviv's successes at Fox included the launch of
His is the latest high-profile hire for Simonds' 4-month-old studio, following the addition of former