Lisa Henson home after Sony setback
Just days after her production company's deal at Sony Pictures was substantially cut, Lisa Henson has landed a gig at her family's company.
She will serve as a consultant to the motion picture division of Jim Henson Prods. The company, founded by her late father and now run by her brother, Brian, is home to the fading Muppets franchise. The latest Muppets movie, "Muppets from Space,'' a Sony picture, bombed upon its release last month.
Lisa Henson would not comment on how her expanded motion picture responsibilities would affect the Jim Henson Pictures corporate structure. She would only say, "I do anticipate getting more involved with the film part of the company.''
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CEO Brian Henson was out of the country and could not be reached for comment at press time.
After three years at Sony and no pictures made there, Henson and partner Janet Yang's Manifest Films was to see its first-look deal expire on Sept. 2. Now it will have a substantially scaled-back commitment at Sony, good for one year, according to Amy Pascal, president of production at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Pascal succeeded Henson as president of Sony's Columbia Pictures banner in late 1996.
Manifest Films most promising recent project, "The Way to Water'' was recently dropped by Sony-based Phoenix Pictures. While it will be distributed abroad by French pay TV giant Canal Plus, the picture is now currently without U.S. distribution.