Joker backer Bron and Resident Evil producer Constantin Film are getting behind Upgrade Productions, the new production outfit from industry veterans Matt Brodlie and Jonathan Kier. With their new Los Angeles-based label, Brodlie and Kier aim to develop and produce high-end local-language films and series for a global audience.
Constantin will take an equity stake in the company, and will collaborate with Upgrade on selected projects. Bron, a Canadian-based studio whose recent production credits include Nia DaCosta’s horror-thriller Candyman and Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming Licorice Pizza, will have a strategic partnership with the company.
Upgrade is looking to capitalize on the surging demand for local-language content worldwide, a boom driven by the expansion of global streaming services. The company said it is “already working with some of the world’s leading creators and production companies in territories including Eastern Europe, Latin America and Japan among others” and is “actively financing the development of original IP with local authors, filmmakers and showrunners,” with the first feature film and television projects to be announced within the coming weeks.
“There has been a profound shift in the viewing habits around the globe that has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for foreign language films and series,” said Brodlie in a statement. Added Kier: “these are exciting times for our industry and for the local creators stepping onto the global stage.”
Constantin is one of the leading international production outfits, with a slate that includes major international titles including Monster Hunter and the Resident Evil franchise, German-language features such as Downfall and the blockbuster Fack Ju Goehte school comedy franchise, and several original TV series, both English (Shadowhunters and the upcoming Resident Evil on Netflix) and German (Perfume on Netflix, We Children From Bahnhof Zoo on Amazon Prime).
Toronto-based Bron is a leading indie financier and producer whose operations range from studio slate financing to such features as Judas and the Black Messiah and The Green Knight, to its investment in Michael Ellenberg’s TV and film production company Media Res (AppleTV+’s The Morning Show, HBO Max’s Scenes from a Marriage).
Former Sierra Affinity executive Max Kondziolka joins Upgrade as manager of international sales and production, and Clara Bartlett, who worked with Brodlie at Disney+ and Netflix, will take the role of content manager at the new company. Additional senior staffing positions will be announced shortly.