As part of the agreement, the studio has purchased a 20 percent equity stake in Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions, which will also have a first-look at the Sony Pictures film library and will serve as SPE’s primary theatrical consultant to help set up titles not adapted by SSTP with other, third party producers. The Dustin Hoffman film "Tootsie" is currently in development for the stage, according to the New York Times.
The equity investment will allow SPE the opportunity to open up its film library for stage adaptations.
The New York-based live entertainment production company SSTP is led by its private founder and CEO, Scott Sanders, with original private equity partners Robert Kraft, David Kraft, Roy Furman and Jim Fantaci.
“Expanding our successful relationship with Scott Sanders was the natural next step that provides the studio with a talented Broadway partner to help bring our film and TV libraries to the stage, and further diversify the studio’s entertainment offerings,” said Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, in a statement.
“Sony Pictures has given the world some of the most exciting and compelling films in history,” added Sanders. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such extraordinary source material, and to mine it for titles that make sense for theatrical adaptation. Our goal is to re-discover stories and characters which speak to the human experience and that audiences want to see again, but from a new perspective.” In connection with the agreement, Lia Vollack, SPE’s president, Worldwide Music, has expanded her role at the studio to additionally include the newly created position of executive vice president, Theatrical. Vollack will oversee the studio’s theatrical productions and will serve as the Sony Pictures liaison with SSTP. Vollack commented, “Expanding into live theater offers Sony the opportunity to add another dimension to our film and TV properties and I’m very excited about working with Scott Sanders to breathe new life into some of our most beloved characters and franchises.”
Sanders has also brought in Sandy Block, a 25-year Broadway industry veteran who served as chief creative officer of advertising and marketing agency Serino/Coyne, to join SSTP as producer/vice President Theater.
“Over the last two decades, I’ve been able to work with the best and brightest people in the industry to launch hundreds of shows,” said Block. “In this new role, I'll be able to expand my involvement in the creative process of initiating, developing and producing the shows themselves. Having known Scott and Carol for many years, I am thrilled to be joining their team, with their great taste for material, ability to attract top-notch talent and unique approach to producing.”