Paul Feig Universal Deal

This week, the employees of 20th Century Fox are facing thousands of layoffs as Disney’s deal to purchase a bunch of assets from Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has closed. But that’s only part of the big changes happening at the movie studio. Now that the family friendly studio has picked up 20th Century Fox, some filmmakers already knew their brand just wouldn’t sit well at the House of Mouse. One of them is Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters: Answer the Call director Paul Feig, who has moved his FeigCo production banner from Fox to Universal with a new first look deal.

Deadline revealed Paul Feig’s shift to Universal in a much longer article about the big changes happening in the former 20th Century Fox offices. The Wrap confirmed the filmmaker’s FeigCo moving over to Universal, which makes sense following their collaboration on the forthcoming holiday romantic comedy Last Christmas starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians). Plus, Feig already had success at Universal, which distributed Bridesmaids. But it was Fox who released Feig’s other big comedies, The Heat and Spy.

Paul Feig may have already seen the writing on the wall when the Disney deal started coming together because the filmmaker was already developing several projects at Universal. One is a workplace comedy called 24-7 starring Eva Longoria and produced by Kerry Washington and Ben Spector. The other is False Alarm, another comedy that Feig is producing with Dylan Clark (of the recent Planet of the Apes franchise) and Sam Esmail (creator of Mr. Robot).

Universal president Paul Cramer confirmed the deal in a statement:

“Paul is one of the most distinctive and versatile filmmakers working today, and we are thrilled to welcome him, Jessie Henderson, and the FeigCo team back to Universal. We know they will add to their impressive track record of creating successful films for global audiences that are full of Paul’s signature joy, wit, and heart, starting with Last Christmas in November.”

Paul Feig is indeed one of the finest comedy filmmakers working today. Not only that, but he’s been a strong supporter of creating major comedy roles for actresses, something that has thankfully become much more common in recent years. Say what you will about Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (actually, just don’t), but Feig gave four hilarious actresses the chance to tackle a blockbuster franchise, and he continues to craft fun roles for a wide array of comedic talents. But beyond that, Feig recently showed that he has more tricks up his sleeve with the twisted, dark, comedic thriller A Simple Favor, and we hope Universal gives him a chance to make more movies like that.

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