By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 6, 2014 at 4:14PM
Yet again, Megan Ellison is putting her money on talent.
Now, rather than looking at various CAA projects and giving creative freedom to top A-list directors like David O. Russell, Paul Thomas Anderson and Spike Jonze, this time the billionaire scion of Oracle's Larry Ellison is backing another production company. Annapurna also financed "The Hurt Locker" team of producer-writer Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," so it was assumed that Ellison might be supporting them again. Boal and Bigelow have been working on another script. But this is a bigger play--bankrolling Boal's new "writer-driven" film and television production company, Page 1, of which he will be CEO.
Former New York Magazine and New York Times Magazine editor and respected journalist Hugo Lindgren will be president of the new company. He recently served as interim editor of The Hollywood Reporter. Annapurna's Matthew Budman, who worked with Boal on "Zero Dark Thirty," will be Annapurna’s supervising executive. He will be based in New York.
"Zero Dark Thirty" co-producer Jonathan Leven has also joined Page 1 as a development/production executive. Leven was the VP & Head of Development at Bauer Martinez Entertainment.
Boal has been organizing Page 1 over the past year. His focus continues to be the development and production of movie and TV content...
...based on reported actual events, derived from source material acquired directly from reporters, magazines and book publishers, newspapers and broadcast outlets. The Company will team filmmakers and screenwriters with non-fiction authors and journalists on projects based on materials generated by these sources.
PAGE 1 will acquire projects from reporters as well as other story rights holders, but may also partner with them to expand their appropriate ongoing coverage of newsworthy stories into books, films, and a range of television programming formats, such as with Robert Redford’s early involvement with Woodward and Bernstein during their Watergate coverage, which was developed into the book and later the film “All the Presidents Men,” and with writer-director Gary Ross’s preemptive acquisition of the film rights to Laura Hillenbrand’s planned book based on her article about “Seabiscuit.”
Boal will serve as producer on PAGE 1 projects and may also write some of the screenplays or teleplay adaptations. Ellison will Produce or executive produce PAGE 1 projects.
While "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty" are obvious examples, Boal and Lindgren also cite "The Social Network," "Lone Survivor" and "Captain Phillips" as models of what they are looking to do, states Lindgren:
“I am excited to seek out the most enterprising journalists, develop scripts and match them with Mark and Megan, the best one-two punch of writing and producing in Hollywood.”
“There are great stories being told everyday by reporters who dig deep and provide not only great reportage, but insights into who we are as societies, as nations, as people. And these are the kinds of stories we want to translate to the big screen.”
Boal is represented by CAA and Management 360, both of which are involved in Page 1’s development activities.