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David Ellison’s Skydance Launches Uncharted Label With ‘Baywatch’

Variety logo Variety 12/9/2016 Dave McNary
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David Ellison’s Skydance media company has launched a new Uncharted label with Dwayne Johnson’s “Baywatch” action-comedy movie as its first title.

Skydance will continue to produce content driven by action-adventure such as the “Mission: Impossible” franchise; science fiction such as the “Star Trek” movies; fantasy such as “World War Z”;  and world-building. Uncharted will focus on exceptional stories that fall outside those areas.

Ellison launched Skydance at Paramount in 2010 with $350 million in co-financing and co-production funds. “True Grit” was its first title, followed by “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.”

“Baywatch” is scheduled to be released on May 26 and follows Johnson’s devoted lifeguard character as he butts heads with a brash new recruit, played by Zac Efron. Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz, Gregory J. Bonann, Beau Flynn, and Ivan Reitman will produce; Ellison will exec produce along with Skydance execs  Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger alongside Michele Berk, Mary Rohlich, Louise Rosner-Meyer, Tom Pollock, Ali Bell, Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia.

Additional Uncharted films are currently in development and will be announced shortly. Skydance has four other films opening next year — sci-fier “Life” through Sony, “World War Z 2” through Paramount, “The Hitmen’s Bodyguard” at Lionsgate and “Geostorm” at Warner Bros.

Upcoming Uncharted television series include “Ten Days in the Valley” on ABC and “Dietland” on AMC. “Ten Days in the Valley” stars Kyra Sedgwick as an overworked television producer and single mother in the middle of a fractious separation. Tassie Cameron serves as writer and showrunner of the series, which she executive produces alongside Sedgwick, Jill Littman, and Skydance’s Ellison, Goldberg and Marcy Ross.

“Dietland,” based on the 2015 novel by Sarai Walker, is set against the backdrop of the beauty industry, exploring society’s obsession with weight loss and beauty. Marti Noxon will write and executive produce with Ellison, Goldberg and Ross along with Tiny Pyro’s Maria Grasso as well as Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn of Mockingbird Pictures.

“Launching Uncharted expands our content production work in exciting new directions as we continue to grow and diversify our business on a global basis,” Ellison said. “While Skydance as a label will continue to build imaginative new worlds and transport audiences to faraway places, Uncharted will strive to tell equally compelling stories – across other genres and subject matters – that bring the conviction and passion of our visionary creative talent to life.”

Skydance has produced 11 feature films, which have cumulatively grossed $4.2 billion in worldwide box office. Skydance Television was launched in 2013 and is currently slated to produce seven original series across multiple networks. It’s also launched Skydance International and Skydance Interactive during the past year.

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