Steve Carrell signs deal to build small production empire at Warner Bros.

My first reaction to reading the Variety story of how comedian Steve Carrell signed a three-year first-look deal with Warner Bros. which includes housing his very own production studio Carousel Productions on their lot is optimism, tempered with a cautious skepticism.

Most of the skepticism comes from remembering this story, published back in 2002, which talks about a two-year first look deal that Warner Bros. struck with public radio show This American Life. According to Wikipedia, the one film that eventually did get released within the terms of the deal that was based on a TAL story was Unaccompanied Minors, which has a 27% fresh rating on the Tomatometer. Other projects that have been rumored to be picked up but haven’t gone anywhere include a story about a woman who trained herself into becoming a superhero and one about inmates at a maximum security prison who put on a production of Hamlet as part of a rehabilitation program.

Still, TAL is not Steve Carrell, who is more Hollywood-savvy and seems to have a head for choosing projects that run the gamut from pure comedy to thoughtful comedy. That’s not a bad trait to have when you set up a shingle to produce other people’s projects, as Carousel will be doing for the next three years.

Here’s hoping!

Posted on October 9, 2008 at 06:20 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News