‘Sonic’ Producer Neal Moritz Extends First Look Deal With Paramount

He’ll next produce “To Catch a Thief” and the Russell Crowe thriller “American Son” for the studio

Paramount Pictures has extended its first-look film deal with “Sonic the Hedgehog” producer Neal Moritz and his Original Film production company, the studio announced on Wednesday.

The deal is a two-year extension that will continue the studio’s relationship through the end of 2023. Moritz first formed the film deal with Paramount in 2019 after leaving a long-time deal with Sony.

Moritz produced this year’s “Sonic the Hedgehog,” which is the highest-grossing movie based on a video game ever and has earned $307 million worldwide. It is also the studio’s record holder for digital sales, breaking first-day digital sales records and taking the studio’s overall title in under three weeks.

“I am thrilled to extend this relationship with Neal and Original Film, which already has been so fruitful with the success of Sonic the Hedgehog. Neal has a unique talent for identifying, developing and building franchises that truly capture audiences and embody the spirit of movie going. I couldn’t be happier that he is continuing to make Paramount his home as we move into our next phase of creating incredible entertainment for audiences everywhere,” Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos said in a statement.

“I am incredibly grateful for the support, confidence and faith that Jim and everyone at Paramount have shown me since we forged this partnership. I am overjoyed to be continuing this relationship and to see where our shared vision for pushing the boundaries of great entertainment takes us,” Moritz said in a statement.

Moritz will next work on a “Sonic” sequel alongside Paramount, as well as “To Catch a Thief” and the upcoming mobster thriller “American Son. “American Son” is based on Jacques Audiard’s French film “A Prophet” and will star Russell Crowe. Moritz and Toby Jaffe will be producing through their production company, Original Film.

His other credits include “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Cruel Intentions,” “Sweet Home Alabama” and “I Am Legend,” among others. His movies have earned a combined total of over $10 billion in box office gross.