Entertainment07 December 2017
Hollywood, CA -- Shawn Levy, the award-winning director and producer behind the blockbuster Night at the Museum franchise, last year’s Oscar-nominated sci-fi darling Arrival and the globe-girdling Netflix phenomenon Stranger Things is entering into a multi-year exclusive deal with Netflix to produce television series.
In addition, Levy has named Josh Barry as President of 21 Laps Television. Barry is a television producer and creative executive with 15+ years executive experience in the entertainment industry including work at studio, network, and as an executive producer.
Netflix and Levy’s production company 21 Laps first joined forces on Stranger Things, the popular and acclaimed series that premiered in 2016 and recently earned 18 Emmy nominations, with five wins. Levy, along with show creators The Duffer Brothers, 21 Laps’ Dan Cohen and fellow executive producer Iain Paterson, earned the 2017 Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama in this year’s Producers Guild Awards for Stranger Things.
Said Levy, “I don’t know any other company that would have taken a chance on a show about kids and inter-dimensional monsters, created by young unknown twin brothers and produced by a movie director’s production company. Netflix did, and they bet big, and it’s been truly thrilling to take this wild ride with such exceptional partners. My aspiration for 21 Laps has always been to create content that is eclectic, bold, humanist and surprising. As such, Netflix is the perfect home for us and our collaborators. My partners Dan Levine and Dan Cohen, along with President of Television Josh Barry and the rest of our 21 Laps colleagues and I, can’t wait to craft and usher more singular shows into the world with this empowering platform and partner.”
“Shawn and 21 Laps are courageous and adept storytellers who lean into risk both narratively and by nurturing great young talent,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content for Netflix. ”They have an admirable track record for telling ambitious stories that have incredible heart and which resonate with audiences all over the world.”
Until he left earlier this year, Josh Barry spent six years as the Head of Television and a Partner at THE FIRM, spearheading their development and production across all major networks and studios. In 2016/2017, he executive produced three series: Salem, on its third season for WGN/Fox21; the comedy Haters Back Off starring Miranda Sings for Netflix; and the ABC/Sony fall 2016 series Notorious.
He previously worked within the ABC Entertainment Group as a creative executive in various capacities for ten years. He was the Head of Drama Development and Current Programming at ABC Studios, serving as Senior Vice President. Prior to that he worked at ABC Network and Touchstone Television. While in the ABC Entertainment Group, he worked on such shows as Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Alias, Pushing Daisies, Ugly Betty, Brothers & Sisters, among many others.
He graduated from Brown University in 1995 and lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Philip Matthys.
About Shawn Levy/21 Laps
While Levy is best known as a director of hit comedies and family tentpoles, whose films have grossed more than $3 billion worldwide, his production company 21 Laps Entertainment has emerged in recent years as one of the most prolific and eclectic in the industry, with a slate of film and TV projects encompassing multiple genres and collaborating with the most renowned filmmakers.
Along with Stranger Things, 21 Laps’ other recent productions include The Spectacular Now; Why Him; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; and Fist Fight. Levy and 21 Laps also produced the hit comedy series Last Man Standing, starring Tim Allen which aired for six seasons on ABC.
As a director, Levy has helmed all three installments of the blockbuster Night at the Museum franchise, as well as the hit films Date Night, Real Steel, Cheaper By The Dozen, This Is Where I Leave You and Pink Panther . He is set to direct Uncharted, the long-awaited live-action feature film starring Tom Holland, based on the award-winning PlayStation video game for Sony Pictures. Upcoming 2018 releases from 21 Laps include Darkest Minds for Fox, from director Jennifer Yuh Nelson; Kodachrome starring Ed Harris, Elizabeth Olsen and Jason Sudeikis for Netflix; and Kin for Lionsgate, starring James Franco, Zoe Kravitz, Jack Reynor and Dennis Quaid.
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