MIAMI — Production has begun on the film “The Corporation” following a movie rights deal signed earlier this year by the chairman of tire wholesaler Tire Group International Inc. (TGI)
Entrepreneur Tony Gonzalez, TGI's CEO and chairman, entered into what the company called 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. TGI did not divulge any specifics about what the deal is worth. (The film should not be confused with a 2003 Canadian documentary film of the same name that was critical of the modern-day corporation.)
While at the helm of TGI, Mr. Gonzalez simultaneously built Rock The Moon Productions L.L.C. (RTMP), a multimedia and artist management company, according to TGI, which added that, “following his passion for the arts, Mr. Gonzalez has quickly found his stride in the entertainment industry, both in film and music.”
Rock The Moon Productions' film division sold the rights to develop “The Corporation,” which will star Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro as Cuban mob boss Jose Miguel Battle Sr.
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, and Paramount prevailed in the deal handled by Hollywood's Paradigm Talent Agency.
“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.”