Kiss rocker Gene Simmons and Gary Hamilton, Chairman of sales and production company Arclight Films, have launched a new production company called Simmons/Hamilton Productions.
The production banner will produce 25 movies over an initial five-year period, with a focus on action, thriller, and genre titles. In a statement announcing the news, the company said it is backed by a “multi-billion dollar fund manager” who is providing slate financing through a “revolving finance facility.” Arclight Films’ CFO Brian Beckmann was responsible for closing the slate funding deal. All films created under the banner will be produced by Simmons and Hamilton.
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The first greenlit project is Deep Water, a survival thriller directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2). Scheduled to go into production later this year, the pic tells the adventurous tale of an eclectic group of international passengers whose plane, en route from LA to Shanghai, is forced to make an emergency landing in shark-infested waters. The terrified group is forced to work together and overcome their differences if they hope to escape their sinking plane and the frenzy of sharks drawn to the wreckage.
The film is produced by Simmons, Hamilton, Arclight Films’ Ying Ye, and Rob Van Norden (Martin Campbell’s The Protégé), with Arclight launching world sales this week at Cannes.
“Throughout my storied history in the music business, I’ve met all sorts of characters, but Gary Hamilton is the real deal!” Simmons said. “He’s a remarkable film executive and a great collaborator who, along with the fantastic team at Arclight Films, brings his expertise and outstanding knowledge of the film industry to this partnership. I am pumped and excited to be launching Deep Water as our first project together with the action maven Renny Harlin at the helm.”
Harlin added: “I’ve had my greatest success when working with planes or sharks. Getting to combine those two of my favorite thriller elements in a character-driven action-adventure is a dream come true. I can’t wait to take the audience on the scariest plane ride of their lives. Gene and Gary both are my old friends and I’m excited to rock n roll through the friendly skies with them.”
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