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Lights! Camera! Action! TGI chairman/CEO signs movie deal

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MIAMI (Nov. 12, 2016) — Tony Gonzalez, CEO and chairman of tire wholesaler Tire Group International Inc. (TGI), is leading a double life.

While at the helm of TGI, Mr. Gonzalez simultaneously has built Rock The Moon Productions L.L.C. (RTMP), a multimedia and artist management company, according to TGI.

This endeavor has proved to be an outlet for Mr. Gonzalez’s “passion for the arts,” TGI said, noting that he “has quickly found his stride in the entertainment industry, both in film and music.”

  • This article appears in the Nov. 7 print edition of Tire Business.

Founded in 2014, Rock The Moon Productions earlier this year struck its biggest deal to date, securing a  “record-setting movie rights deal” with Paramount Pictures Corp. and Appian Way Productions — a film production company in West Hollywood, Calif,, established by actor and producer Leonardo DiCaprio — to develop a film proposal into a movie.

Tony Gonzalez

Production on the film, titled “The Corporation,” has since begun with Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro set to star as Cuban mob boss Jose Miguel Battle Sr., TGI said.

The film is the first deal for Appian Way since moving to Paramount. Mr. DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson-Killoran are producing it alongside Mr. Gonzalez and Jaydee Freixas as well as The Picture Co.’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heinemann.

David Matthews, a staff writer on HBO’s Vinyl and Boardwalk Empire, wrote the screenplay.

According to TGI, “a bidding war erupted” last spring between major Hollywood studios and producers over the rights to best-selling author T.J. English’s book, “The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban-American Underworld,” which Messrs. Gonzalez and Freixas controlled.

Paramount prevailed in the deal handled by Hollywood’s Paradigm Talent Agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.

(The film should not be confused with a 2003 Canadian documentary film of the same name that was critical of the modern-day corporation.)

“I am excited to be partnered with Paramount, Appian Way and The Picture Company,” Mr. Gonzalez said. “I cannot think of a better studio to be producing this film—after all, Paramount is the studio that produced ‘The Godfather.’

“We are certain that ‘The Corporation’ will be an authentic representation of one of the most unique mob-related stories ever told.”

Messrs. Gonzalez and Freixas also are in pre-production for a feature film they’re producing titled “Vandal.” Inspired by true stories, it is about the young leader of a legendary Miami graffiti crew who comes of age while battling a longtime rival, TGI said.

Mr. Freixas co-wrote the screenplay with Paul Taegel and also will direct. Executive producers include legendary graffiti artist Kelly “Risk” Graval. Shooting was set to begin this summer in Miami.

“The Corporation” is based on a 100-page proposal by Mr. English, who is the author of various titles, including “Born to Kill,” “The Savage City” and bestseller “Havana Nocturne.” He also has written for the TV series “NYPD Blue.” The nonfiction book will be published in winter 2017 by William Morrow. It is being referred to as a Cuban version of “The Godfather” and “American Gangster.”

Miami-based TGI distributes more than 40 tire brands, many from a number of Chinese manufacturers, as well as several private brands, throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, except Cuba, primarily coordinating factory-direct container-load shipments from China to its customers.

It does warehouse a small amount of Chinese products at its Miami warehouse that are exported in parcels to Latin American and Caribbean customers that need smaller quantities.

In addition to representing some major tire brands in Latin America, TGI markets its own private label tire lines — Astro, Cosmo, Orion, Duramas and Industar — with offerings ranging from passenger to OTR sizes.

The distributor sells to about 80 countries worldwide.

Mr. Gonzalez founded Rock the Moon Productions, a multimedia creative outlet, in 2014 “as a result of Miami’s cultural fusion,” according to TGI.

The firm serves as a record label, film company and developmental agency that “curates talent and events alike. RTMP prides itself on successfully developing the creative ideas of individuals ranging from musicians, filmmakers, event planners and creatives at large.”

TGI said RTMP also creates, produces and develops original content for an array of media outlets, Web, DVD and documentaries, among other platforms.

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