Fred Smith-backed Alcon Entertainment expanding into talent management

Alcon Entertainment, the film finance company backed by Memphian and FedEx founder Fred Smith, is moving into the talent management business by acquiring a stake in a boutique firm called Madhouse Entertainment, according to stories in the Los Angeles Times and Variety. From LAT:

(Madhouse clients) include "Lost" co-creator Jeffrey Lieber; Nick Wauters, the creator of NBC's now cancelled series "The Event"; and David Guggenheim, writer of next year's theatrical thriller "Safe House."

Though it's not out of the ordinary for production companies to also employ talent managers, it is somewhat unusual for a venture as large as Alcon, which has the financial resources to produce big-budget feature films. The company fully finances its own movies, which are then released by Warner Bros. under a partnership that runs through 2015.

The Madhouse deal is just the first step in Alcon's plans to enter the management business, Variety says:

Madhouse will become the first component of Alcon Management Enterprises, designed as a holding company for as many as six talent management companies Alcon intends to acquire. In each deal, Alcon will acquire a controlling interest while each existing management team continues to maintain a significant ownership percentage and continues to operate in a largely autonomous manner.

So who's on the Madhouse roster?

Madhouse clients include Dave Andron, co-exec producer on FX's "Justified"; Liz Garcia & Josh Harto, creators of TNT's "Memphis Beat"; screenwriter David Guggenheim (Universal's "Safe House"); screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski (Alcon's "Prisoners"); Lauren Iungerich, creator/showrunner of MTV's "Awkward"; screenwriter Dave Kajganich ("The Invasion"); Liz Kruger & Craig Shapiro, creators of USA's "Necessary Roughness"; Jeffrey Lieber, co-creator of "Lost"; and Jason Smilovic, creator of NBC's "My Own Worst Enemy" and ABC's "Karen Sisco."


Meanwhile, here's what the LAT says Alcon, which scored a huge hit with 2009's "The Blind Side" and recently released the rom-com "Something Borrowed," has in the pipeline:

The company will soon open its family movie "Dolphin Tale" and its development slate includes new movies based on the science-fiction classic "Blade Runner."

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Deputy Online News Editor Mark Richens takes you through all the news about Memphis from sources outside the Mid-South.