Call this one a curious move by MGM, though we have no doubts about Salma Hayek’s business or film acumen, afterall she pretty much shattered out preconceived notions of her when she single handedly brought Frida to the big screen and was acclaimed for it.
According to Variety, Hayek has been tapped to be CEO of MGM production label Ventanazul. The label will produce films with Latino themes and use Latin America and Hispanic talent. We hope this one succeeds. We’re not hispanic or Latin-American, but it’s a huge market and based on population numbers alone you’d think studios and networks would have more of these specialty divisions to tap this market. (Thinking of Salma Hayek related tapping her market joke…)
MGM chief operating officer Rick Sands said content will come from agencies, directors and writers.
“There’s a lot of talent in the Latin community, and a lot of it’s been untapped historically,” he said. “We’re going to try and open up that community to Hollywood and pick the material with the most universal themes.”
Budgets for the mainly English-language projects will run from $5 million to $25 million, said Sands, “depending on what the material is and who’s in it.”
Hayek will be “running the company,” Sands said. “To the extent that it makes sense for her to act, she’ll do that; to the extent that it makes sense for her to produce, she’ll do that.”
Deal places company prexy-CEO Hayek in fully equal partnership with MGM, where Ventanazul is slated to offer two to four projects per year in a variety of genres.
The production deal is the second for MGM after November’s announcement of the United Artists rebirthing with Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner.
“Don’t be surprised if we do this one or two more times,” offered Sands. “It’s part of our ongoing strategy to be in business with top content providers, and we were fortunate enough to be able to partner with Tom Cruise, and now Salma.”
By the by, has anyone seen Bandidas? We watched it Saturday morning and yeah, it’s as dumb as you would think it would be. Afterall it is a movie about two Mexican women who become bank robbers and then team up with the always goofy Steven Zahn. And yet, and yet. You know the movie is proof that if either Penelope Cruz or Salma Hayek made a movie about painting walls and mowing the grass we’d totally be there to watch it.