Eric Paquette, former senior vice president at Sony Pictures and MGM, has launched a new company, Meridian Pictures, focused on film and television projects.
Paquette said he would work with direct-to-consumer platforms, financiers and studios to fill their pipelines with “compelling stories for their specific audiences.”
Projects in development include Heavy Alpha Dad, by writer Michael Walker, an action thriller set on a commercial airline. Gary Fleder is on the verge of directing and Chrisitain Mercuri’s Capstone is financing.
Other projects that Paquette is packing include Merger, by screenwriter Jessica Postigo, based on the life of Bonnie Klea, the former Rocketdyne employee whose advocacy for workers victims of nuclear radiation exposure at the contaminated field laboratory in Santa Susanna led to a massive restitution program . Paquette will produce.
Kinetic, by Chris Dennis, is an action thriller in which a truck must deliver dangerous cargo to save his pregnant wife. Paul Katis is committed to directing, along with Carson Reeves.
Warm red lights, by Morenike Balogun, is described as a “tonal blend of Pulp Fiction and Drive”. The thriller follows a young Nigerian woman living in Tokyo’s red light district, who “seeks to protect herself from the Yazuka only to discover that she can never get past her past.”
Operation Checkmate, by Postigo, described as “the true story of the hostage rescue mission of three American women and French presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt in the FARC infested jungles of Colombia.” Paquette will produce with RCN Media.
The climb, by Brooks McLaren, is the story of Hall of Fame boxer Billy Miske. Dave Rosenthal will direct and Paquette will produce with Bruce Nash and Rosenthal.
What is there for me, by John Pogue, is the true story of a former sage who infiltrated to shoot down members of the Arizona state legislature in an undercover operation called “AzScam”. Paquette will produce with Pogue, who acquired the book on which the screenplay is based.
Georgia in Hawaii, by Rose Lichter-Marck, is based on the story of Georgia O’Keeffe’s 14 days in Maui in 1939, and the 13-year-old girl who changed her life.
Executive Decree, by Robert Tannen, is a political thriller in the vein of No Exit.
Paquette also has a list of TV projects. Meridian has acquired the rights to The New Chardonnay, with Alice O’Nea and Jada Nation writing the screenplay based on Heather Cabot’s book, captioned “The unlikely story of how marijuana got mainstream”. Cabot and Lisa Leshe will be the executive producers with Paquette.
No more Deadline
Also on the slate: Port authorityy, inspired by the career of Michael Valenti, the former head of counterterrorism for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Meridian has acquired its rights for life.
The superintendent is a series developed with Sonja Brookins Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, and will focus on the life of a big city superintendent. Paquette will be executive producer with Christopher Morphew, the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education.
At MGM, Paquette worked on the James Bond franchise and oversaw Hair salon films, among other projects. At Sony’s Screen Gems, he recently worked on The intruder, as good as Slenderman, no good deed, the wedding ringtone and Friends with benefits, among other projects. He has been active in industry political circles, as he and his wife Postigo were fundraisers for Joe Biden and Barack Obama. Paquette was also responsible for the finances of the campaign for the mayoralty of Eric Garcetti. He is also a member of and served as the President of the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission, and serves on the National Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins School of Education.
Best of Deadline
Sign up for the Deadline newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.