T-Street, the production company founded by Knives Out and Brick director Rian Johnson and his longtime producer Ram Bergman, is expanding its reach.
Their production banner is teaming up with MRC Films, the indie studio that developed and produced movies like Knives Out, Baby Driver, Ted, and The Adjustment Bureau, to launch a new untitled label that will produce three to four low-budget movies per year from up-and-coming filmmakers.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, T-Street’s Ben LeClair will oversee day-to-day management on the new label, which is specifically designed to help emerging filmmakers get smaller movies made and out into the world.
“We’ve experienced the importance of having partners like MRC who understand and protect a filmmaker’s vision, and that becomes all the more crucial when you’re navigating these waters for the first or second time,” Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement. “For us, this is about finding and working with great people as much as it is about making great films.”
This is a perfect example of what can happen when someone in a position of power has an active interest in blowing up the gatekeeping culture that’s been a part of Hollywood since its inception, and instead goes out of his way to reach down and help pull people up in a dog-eat-dog industry. I know some people were disappointed when Johnson was announced as the director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but directing a Star Wars movie is exactly the type of thing that can launch a filmmaker into household name status and give them a level of clout they didn’t have before, which can then help bankroll future efforts like these. It probably doesn’t hurt that Johnson and Bergman stand to make $100 million each from their recent Netflix deal for multiple Knives Out sequels, either – that kinda cash can help fund an awful lot of low-budget indies, should they funnel any of it into this new label.
While none of these low-budget efforts have been put in place yet, T-Street is staying busy working on things like the Knives Out sequels, a spy series called A Cool Breeze in the Underground that Bad Education‘s Cory Finley is going to direct, and Poker Face, an upcoming case-of-the-week Peacock series starring Natasha Lyonne that will mark Johnson’s first big foray into the TV space as a creator/showrunner/director.
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