Kevin Spacey & Dana Brunetti Are Taking Over Kavanaugh's Relativity
Kevin Spacey now runs a movie studio. This is awesome news! It's a New Year, so it must be time to make new changes. As many know, Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media has been having quite a bit of trouble recently - they filed for bankruptcy and have been marred with lawsuits and a myriad of problems. But apparently they're turning things around, as Kavanaugh himself has announced a new set of executives who will take over steering the ship. Actor Kevin Spacey and Producer Dana Brunetti, long-time partners in the industry, will be taking over Relativity Media. Variety reports on the news with quotes (see below) and a few details. "Spacey will become chairman of Relativity Studios and Brunetti president as of mid-February."
This was an announcement that took many by surprise, but it's a rather inspired move, as this could shake things up in an interesting way. Brunetti moved into producing with Robert Luketic's 21 and Kyle Newman's Fanboys, before going on to produce The Social Network, Captain Phillips, and most recently Fifty Shades of Grey. Working through their company Trigger Street Productions, Spacey and Brunetti partnered with Netflix for "House of Cards" and produced this year's film The Gift. These two "will oversee all creative content and film production for" Relativity, running the studio completely. Here's the quotes from the story:
"I am thrilled to welcome Kevin and Dana to Relativity," Kavanaugh said in a statement. "Kevin's incredible creative success as a two-time Academy Award winner and star and producer of the critically acclaimed House of Cards speaks for itself. Dana has remarkable instincts and an impressive track record of producing films such as Fifty Shades of Grey and Captain Phillips. Both men share my passion for film and Relativity's unique 360 degree content engine, and I could not be more excited to partner with such talented professionals." […]
"They thought we were crazy when we chose to do 'House of Cards' with an online streaming service; they thought I was crazy when I went to run The Old Vic Theatre when no one thought it could be saved; and this move with Relativity will be proof for some that we really are crazy," Kevin Spacey said. But he called the move "an incredible opportunity to make great entertainment" and said he considered it the "next evolution in my career."
"Having run an independent production company to now be able to run a studio is a great challenge," Spacey said, "and I've learned that in the end it's the risk takers that are rewarded."
Brunetti said Relativity would work to differentiate itself from other filmmakers. "While other studios are focusing on tentpoles and franchises, there is a void with an eager audience for films that are character driven with great storytelling that can be made at a reasonable budget," Brunetti said in a statement. "Being a disruptor at heart, I look forward to the opportunities that being inside a studio system will present."
There isn't much explanation about how the studio is planning to recover, or what the next steps are with distributing films they've already made. But in the meantime, I'm much more intrigued to learn about what Spacey and Brunetti are planning to do running a studio, and the kinds of films/filmmakers they're going after. How soon will they get this running? It's mentioned that Kavanaugh "had been looking for weeks for new executives to replace the top managers, including president Tucker Tooley, who left the company last year." But he settled on these two and says he's "excited" to partner with them. I've been following these two for a while, and they're hard working, ambitious storytellers who truly have an eye for disruption and talent.
We'll keep an eye out for updates about Relativity as they begin the transition. Your thoughts on this news?