Media Ink

TVO interview with Jeff Steiner



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In the News/Media – Television Announcements


New Franchise Media Release – Sept. 19th






New Franchise Media Release – Sept. 13th





In the News/Media – POST copy







New Franchise Media Release – Sept. 19th






New Franchise Media Release – Sept. 13th









NEW FRANCHISE MEDIA – Jeffrey Archer Release Sept 16 2010



New Franchise Media Release – Sept. 13th







Jeffrey Steiner lines up Frank Marshall for action feature



Jeffrey Steiner (pictured), the main municipal architect behind Pinewood Toronto Studios, has lined up veteran Hollywood action producer Frank Marshall to develop British writer Jeffrey Archer’s Matter of Honour novel into a feature film.

Marshall, whose credits at The Kennedy/Marshall Company in Los Angeles include The Bourne Identity and The Back to the Future franchises, is to develop the first page-to-screen adaptation to emerge from Steiner’s New Franchise Media shingle in Toronto.

“Our company’s business plan is to develop our Archer properties in collaboration with experienced and respected producers. Frank Marshall’s talent, integrity and track record of success in the action genre is second to none in Hollywood,” Steiner, president and CEO of New Franchise Media, said Monday.

Steiner told Playback Daily a shortlist of screenwriters for the project has been drawn up.

But well before that, Steiner and Dianne Schwalm, VP of partnership development at New Franchise Media, first met Marshall in Los Angeles in February 2011, during the Oscars week, to pitch the Archer project.

Their conversation soon fell upon developing A Matter of Honour as an actioner, and using its main character, Adam Scott, as a recurring character in a second international espionage-driven feature to be based on the Honour Among Thieves novel by Archer.

“On that idea and combination we shook hands,” Steiner recalled, before lawyers and paperwork led up to this week’s signing of a development deal.

A Matter of Honor is an international spy thriller based on the Adam Scott character, a young ex- military officer who finds himself between rival intelligence agencies in pursuit of an object that threatens the global balance of power forever.

“Frank is a perfect partner to help translate my work from the written page to the big screen, and I congratulate Jeff Steiner on pulling off this great collaboration,” Jeffrey Archer said in a statement on the signing of the development deal.

Steiner said he would ideally like to shoot his two action movies in Toronto, and in Pinewood Toronto Studios, the complex he helped bring on stream as the one-time head of the Toronto Economic Development Corp.

At same time, Archer’s novels are set in international locations, which will likely require extensive second unit shooting abroad.

Additionally, Steiner sees a host of post-production and special effects opportunities back at home.

“The skill sets of our Toronto, Ontario and Montreal is strong,” he said.

New Franchise Media is to unveil details on a TV project to emerge from its Archer novel properties in the coming weeks.

Frank Marshall Developing Jeffrey Archer’s ‘A Matter of Honor’ as Action Movie


Toronto 2011: Frank Marshall Developing Jeffrey Archer’s ‘A Matter of Honor’ as Action Movie (Exclusive)
by Etan Vlessing

The “Bourne” movie franchise producer is to bring two best-selling espionage novels by the British writer to the big screen, in partnership with Toronto’s New Franchise Media.

TORONTO — Millionaire British novelist Jeffrey Archer is to see his “A Matter of Honor” bestseller developed as a feature film by action movie vet Frank Marshall of The Kennedy/Marshall Company.

The espionage action/thriller is the first feature in a potential franchise from Canadian private equity player New Franchise Media, which last year acquired the worldwide film, TV and digital rights to a slate of ten thriller novels by Archer.

The plan is to also create an action sequel based on Archer’s “Honor Among Thieves” novel using a recurring character from “A Matter of Honor,” Adam Scott, as the main focus.

“Jeffrey Archer is a master storyteller whose suspenseful plots and compelling characters have the potential for a multi-feature film franchise with both domestic and international appeal,” Marshall said Monday in a statement.

Canadian Business ONLINE Article

The next James Bond?

A Canadian startup thinks it’s found the next Bond franchise in books by British author, politician and perjuror Jeffrey Archer.

By James Cowan

Jeffrey Archer should be a heavy hitter in Hollywood by now. He has sold 250 million books in 63 countries, and his novels, which include political thrillers, spy novels and crime capers, could easily translate to the big screen. Yet while the works of similar authors — folks like Michael Crichton and Dan Brown — have frequently become blockbusters, Archer’s work has never graced the multiplex. True, there were three television projects based on his novels, but the last one, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, aired in 1990, and its biggest star was Ed Asner.

In an industry constantly starved for raw material, the 70–year–old author’s work stands out as an untapped resource — a fact that’s now been recognized by a new Canadian company created for the purpose of turning the British writer’s bestsellers into box–office hits. “It didn’t make sense that these very popular books, which I know are quite good, aren’t on the silver screen,” says Jeffrey Steiner, president and CEO of New Franchise Media.

Steiner’s Toronto company last month announced it had acquired the rights to 10 Archer novels, including Kane and Abel, perhaps his best–known work. The company partly models itself on Danjaq, the firm founded by Hollywood producer Albert Broccoli to manage Ian Fleming’s James Bond franchise. New Franchise wants to develop scripts based on Archer’s work and partner with studios to transform them into feature films, TV movies or even television series.

Working alongside Steiner on the project is Dianne Schwalm, a respected former marketing executive with Warner Canada who left the studio earlier this year after 25 years in the field. She says Archer’s catalogue lends itself to adaptation into everything from high–brow cable series to video games.”We’re not going to have Jeffrey Archer Happy Meals at McDonald’s, but if you create the right content, there’s a platform for everything,” she says.

Steiner leads a group of private investors funding the project. While Schwalm offers show–business savvy, neither Steiner nor Mark Romoff, the company’s executive vice–president, have experience as producers. During his tenure at Toronto Economic Development Corp., Steiner did spearhead construction of a film studio, but he met Archer through political connections. A longtime Conservative, Steiner entertained the author more than two decades ago when Archer was deputy chairman of the U.K. Conservative Party. The two Tories remained in touch, and Steiner last year proposed the notion of reinvigorating the writer’s film career. “He was quite busy between his political life and being quite a prolific writer, so the idea of doing television and films was never front and centre,” Steiner says.

Also likely hampering Archer’s aims was a two–year prison sentence. The author, who served as a member of the British Parliament and once ran for mayor of London, was convicted in 2001 of committing perjury during a 1987 libel trial. The author’s convict past will probably only enhance interest in his work, says Mark Young, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. “Scandal follows him around, and in today’s environment, that’s helpful,” says Young.

Much more problematic is the two–decade gap in Archer’s cinematic resumé. “There’s been a steady stream of James Bond films, which keeps the general public very aware of that particular franchise,” says Young. “It’s been 20 years for Archer. That makes things really tough.”

But Steiner argues the underdeveloped Archer brand is a boon. “It’s an asset that was just sitting there, great stories that need to be exploited,” he says. “We see that as a business opportunity.”

Read the article on “Canadian Business Online” site.

Article from Celebrity News on, September 16th, 2010

New deal inked during TIFF!

New Franchise Media Inc. has just announced that during the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival it has acquired the worldwide film, TV and all interactive rights to a large slate of bestselling novels by leading author Jeffrey Archer (pictured at left). Archer, the popular British author and politician, has optioned 10 of his action and drama titles to NFMI, an IP rights-development company based in Toronto, in what is one of the biggest option deals ever made between a bestselling author and private financiers.

“We look forward to developing these exceptional literary properties across film and television to excite Jeffrey Archer’s enormous worldwide fan base and new audiences alike resulting in productions with that must-see factor,” stated Jeffrey Steiner, NFMI’s President and CEO.

Read more…

Article from Canada’s The Globe and Mail

September 16th, 2010:

Toronto’s Globe & Mail article about how New Franchise Media Lands Lord Archer

Toronto businessman hopes to adapt Jeffrey Archer’s thrillers for the screen

Jeff Gray
From Thursday’s Globe and Mail
Published on Wednesday, Sep. 15, 2010 5:16PM EDT

With TIFF for a backdrop, a Toronto businessman with long-time Tory connections has signed a deal for the rights to make film or television versions of 10 novels by controversial former British politician and life peer Jeffrey Archer.

Jeffrey Steiner, a former head of the Toronto Economic Development Corp. – which spearheaded the creation of a new film studio on the city’s waterfront – says he plans to announce a deal to adapt some of Lord Archer’s novels to the screen on Thursday. And he predicted that a trilogy of thrillers that begins with 1986’s A Matter of Honour could rival the movie blockbusters made from Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series.

“I was thinking what a great fan base he has, a great name, a great storyteller,” Steiner says.

Steiner, a Conservative Party operative who is currently president of Toronto’s Albany Club – a Tory institution once presided over by Sir John A. Macdonald – says he met the author in the late 1980s, when Lord Archer was deputy chairman of the British Conservative Party under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Steiner’s role in Canada’s Conservative party then was to manage international connections, and he says he organized receptions for Lord Archer’s visits to Toronto, when he came through town on book tours.

The two kept in touch even when Lord Archer’s political reputation hit rock bottom – he was jailed for two years for perjury and perverting the course of justice in 2001. The conviction stemmed from a 1987 libel action he launched against a London tabloid over allegations he had slept with a prostitute and paid her £2,000 to leave the country.

“That was a very rough patch in his life, obviously, which he takes responsibility for. Certainly, because of his celebrity status, they really threw the book at him,” says Steiner, who sent Archer messages but did not actually visit him while he was serving his sentence. “That was a humbling experience for him.”

Steiner says the controversy around Lord Archer actually makes his novels more enticing: “You can call it scandal, or kind of intrigue – that seems to be quite attractive in Hollywood.”

Steiner first put forward the idea of making movies of Archer’s books at a breakfast in London last year. While Steiner has no experience producing films or TV, he says he learned a lot about the industry and made good connections overseeing the establishment of Toronto’s waterfront film studio, now operated by Pinewood Studios Group.

Steiner’s company, New Franchise Media Inc., was created with fellow investor Mark Romoff and former Warner Bros. Canada executive Dianne Schwalm, based on the model set up by producer Albert Broccoli to control Ian Fleming’s James Bond franchise.

New Franchise Media Inc. will develop the scripts for Lord Archer’s books and seek partners to produce the film or TV shows, Steiner says, adding that he’s already met with film and TV executives in Hollywood and London, including the U.S. network showcase. Next up: meetings with HBO.

Steiner says one model for making Lord Archer’s novels into made-for-TV dramas could be The Tudors. The steamy historical series, which airs in Canada on CBC, was produced with Canadian, Irish and U.S. partners. Such productions can take advantage of tax credits and other incentives offered in Canada for film and TV, Steiner says, while marketing to a worldwide audience.

The first of Lord Archer’s stable of massive bestsellers that could be made into a film, Steiner says, is the 2005 novel False Impression, which he describes as an “action crime caper story” for which Archer has already written a script.

Lord Archer, a multi-millionaire from his books, could not be reached for an interview. But his office has issued a statement of support for Steiner.

“Anyone who can get a major new film studio built, especially without any government subsidy, is just the type of chap that can navigate through the madness of Hollywood and bring together the finest talent from Canada, the U.K. and the U.S.A. to make these projects into commercial successes,” the statement said.

Published in The Globe and Mail, September 16, 2010.

The Properties

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