Parkes/MacDonald Productions and Image Nation Abu Dhabi have announced the extension of their joint venture in a new five year deal.
Also announced on Wednesday, Evan Hayes has been appointed president of production at Parkes/Macdonald and will oversee the company’s large slate of feature film projects as well as supervise all aspects of production and creative development.
The new deal extends and expands on the relationship between the two companies, which began in 2010 with a $10 million revolving financing fund which gave the production company the opportunity to acquire and develop a slate of projects at a time when the U.S. studios were cutting back on development spending. It was extended in 2012 when Parkes+MacDonald/Image Nation was formed, which built on the fund by providing overhead and a first-look deal to develop, acquire and produce projects.
The next project for the joint venture is the untitled feature length documentary about Malala Yousafzai directed by Oscar-winner Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”), followed by “Keeping Up with the Joneses,” written by Mike Lesieur, which is slated for production at Fox 2000 with Greg Mottola (“Superbad”) directing and Zach Galifianakis (“The Hangover”) and Isla Fisher (“The Great Gatsby”) starring.
Parkes/MacDonald Productions was also behind box office hits including Denzel Washington‘s “Flight” and “Men in Black 3.”
“The new deal is the natural extension of our great partnership. In joining the team, Evan brings a wealth of experience in independent productions, which will allow us to broaden our focus,” said Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation Abu Dhabi.
“The Parkes/Macdonald team will continue to work closely with us in Abu Dhabi, bringing their creative vision and expertise to bear on our local productions. We look forward to the release of the Malala documentary next year and to developing and producing more exciting projects in the future.”
Evan Hayes was most recently partner and the President of Production at Story Mining & Supply Co., where he oversaw a large slate of projects, including the Starz original series “Outlander,” created by Ron Moore, the war drama “The Yellow Birds” written by David Lowery, the true crime thriller “The Fence,” written by Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos, and the St-Cyr & Kohler series from author J. Robert Janes with Gideon Raff (“Homeland,” “Tyrant,” “Dig”) show running.
He also developed and is an executive producer of “Everest” for Universal Pictures and Working Title Films. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright and Sam Worthington, it is set for release in September 2015.
“I have long admired Walter [Parkes] and Laurie’s [MacDonald] impeccable taste and diverse interest in material, and I am thrilled to be working with them at Parkes/MacDonald,” said Hayes. “We have the shared desire to produce character driven material with visionary filmmakers across a multitude of genres, and the support of Image Nation Abu Dhabi will only enhance us in our efforts to bring these types of films to life.”