Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner is returning to the world of movies with a new deal between his privately held Tornante Company and Universal Pictures. Eisner, who headed up The Walt Disney Company from 1984 to 2005, inked the multiyear global distribution deal in which Universal will market and distribute films that Tornante fully finances.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Eisner said the first film in the deal could be released by the end of 2013. He added that the films will encompass multiple genres.
Eisner’s return to the movie game has reportedly been in the works for some time. CNBC and Variety reported earlier this year that Tornante was working to raise $800 million to back films.
Since Walt Disney’s death in 1966, The Walt Disney Company had narrowly survived takeover attempts by corporate raiders. Its shareholders Sid Bass and Roy E. Disney brought in Eisner and former Warner Bros. chief Frank Wells to replace Ron W. Miller in 1984 and strengthen the company.
Prior to running the Walt Disney Company, Eisner had a successful run at Paramount Pictures in the 1980s, helping the studio rake in huge profits with such blockbusters as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Beverly Hills Cop.
In addition to founding the Tornante Company, Eisner also started Vuguru, an independent digital studio that develops content for the likes of AOL and Yahoo!