HBO Films Enters Into Creative Alliance with

New Deal To Develop And Fund Web-Based Stories For Film Adaptation

Published August 14, 2002 5:48PM (EDT)

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13, 2002 -- HBO Films has entered into a creative alliance with Salon Media Group, Inc. to generate and pursue story ideas, it was announced today by Keri Putnam, senior vice president, HBO Films. Under the agreement, HBO Films will underwrite select story ideas to appear on, a journalistic website covering news and entertainment, that could be optioned for future film adaptation on HBO. Beginning this month, HBO will have a first-look deal for original material; in addition, Salon will present multiple story ideas compiled by its editorial staff and network of freelance writers.

"This promises to be an exciting new relationship, whereby Salon will provide HBO with a new brain trust for creative programming," said Putnam. "We look forward to working closely with their editorial team to mine the talents of Salon's diverse network of journalists."

"We're excited to be working with HBO to develop narrative-driven features that would capture not only our readers' attention, but that of HBO's subscribers as well," says David Talbot, Salon's founder, chairman and editor in chief. "We have great respect for HBO's creative vision and the way it has built a large audience for award-winning and uncompromising programming."

Michael Siegel and Priscilla Cohen of Michael Siegel and Associates represent Salon Media Group, and spearheaded the idea to link the two companies.

HBO Films produces a broad slate of projects that runs the gamut from low-budget independents to big-event movies. Among the upcoming films currently in pre-production: "Infamous," directed by and starring John Leguizamo, and written by Frank Pugliese; "Iron Jawed Angels," starring Oscar. winner Hilary Swank, directed by Katja Von Garnier, and written by Jennifer Friedes, Georgia Jeffries and Sally Robinson; and "And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself," starring Antonio Banderas, directed by Bruce Beresford, and written by Larry Gelbart.

Recently completed films are: "Angels in America," starring Oscar. winners Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson, along with Mary-Louise Parker, Jeffrey Wright, Justin Kirk, Ben Shenkman, Patrick Wilson and James Cromwell, with featured performances by Michael Gambon and Simon Callow, directed by Mike Nichols, and adapted by Tony Kushner from his own play; "Live from Baghdad," starring Michael Keaton and Helena Bonham Carter, directed by Mick Jackson, and written by John Patrick Shanley, Tim Sexton, Richard Chapman and Robert Wiener; "My House in Umbria," starring Oscar. winner Maggie Smith, directed by Richard Loncraine, and written by Hugh Whitemore; and "Normal," starring Oscar. winner Jessica Lange and Oscar. nominee Tom Wilkinson, and directed and written by Jane Anderson.

Academy Award. and Oscar. are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Source: HBO Films

By Salon Staff

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