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Spyglass Media Group, formerly Spyglass Entertainment (legally Spyglass Entertainment Holdings, LLC), is an American film production company founded by Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum in 1998.
In August 1998, Gary Barber, former vice chairman and COO of Morgan Creek Productions, together with Roger Birnbaum, co-founder and former head of Caravan Pictures, founded Spyglass Entertainment. The startup company signed a five-year distribution agreement with Disney, which took an equity stake. Birnbaum previously left Caravan at the prompting of then Disney studio chief Joe Roth; with Disney cutting its yearly production output, Roth recommended forming a self-financing production firm similar to New Regency Productions. After Caravan's remaining three films were released, Caravan went inactive. Its slate of movie projects and an initial financial advance of $10 million to $20 million against future overages were also contributed by Disney. Spyglass's operations were formed and based at the Walt Disney Studios. In October 1998, European media conglomerates Kirch Group and Mediaset invested in theatrical, video and television distribution rights to between 15 and 25 films in Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and the former Soviet Union for over five years.M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense (released 1999) was Spyglass's first film, collecting $661 million at the box office worldwide.
By May 2000, Disney took a 10% equity stake in Spyglass, along with Svensk Filmindustri of Scandinavia and Lusomundo of Portugal. In March 2003, Spyglass Entertainment agreed to a four-year distribution output deal with Village Roadshow for Australia, New Zealand and Greece.
In December 2003, Spyglass ended its deal with Disney and agreed to a four-year first-look non-exclusive co-financing and production deal with DreamWorks. This deal was never finalized and the relationship was not working well. Thus in September 2003, Spyglass instead made a similar deal with Sony Pictures. Spyglass did not move to the Sony lot, but to Murdoch Plaza in Westwood, Los Angeles.
On March 13, 2019, Barber and Lantern Entertainment revived the company as Spyglass Media Group, bringing in Eagle Pictures and Cineworld as investors. Lantern made a majority investment and also transferred its film library and rights to Miramax film sequels to the Spyglass. Barber owns the Spyglass trademark and the sequel and remake rights to the old Spyglass library, which he has contributed. The company plans to produce content for all platforms. Spyglass closed the former Lantern Entertainment/TWC office in New York City while laying off 15 staff members across divisions.
On April 1, 2019, Lauren Whitney, the president of television for Miramax, took on the same position for Spyglass. Damien Marin followed Barber from MGM to be appointed Spyglass president of worldwide distribution and acquisitions in September 2019.
Spyglass's first green lit film since its revival is in itself a revival of "Hellraiser" franchise announced in May 2019. With the company winning the rights to the Stephen King's "The Institute" book in November 2019, Jack Bender and David E. Kelley were paired to development and produce the book as a mini-series. Also, Bender was signed by Spyglass to a TV first-look deal.