Escape Artists is an independently financed motion picture and television production company with a first-look deal at Sony Pictures Entertainment for film and a first-look deal with MGM Television for TV, headed by Partners Steve Tisch, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and David Bloomfield. In 2001, Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal’s Black & Blu merged with the Steve Tisch Company to form Escape Artists.
The first movie under the Escape Artists banner was A Knight’s Tale, starring Heath Ledger in 2001. In 2005, Escape Artists released The Weather Man, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Nic Cage and Michael Caine. Their next film, The Pursuit of Happyness, directed by Gabriele Muccino and starring Will Smith, was released in 2006 and earned over $300 million in worldwide ticket sales, as well as best actor Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Will Smith. Seven Pounds, another Gabriele Muccino directed film starring Will Smith, was released in 2008. In 2009, Escape Artists released the Alex Proyas thriller, Knowing, starring Nic Cage and The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3, directed by Tony Scott, starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta. Then followed Hope Springs in 2012, directed by David Frankel and starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell. In 2014, Escape Artists released the comedy Sex Tape, starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel; followed by The Equalizer, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington. In 2015, Escape released Unfinished Business, directed by Ken Scott and starring Vince Vaughn; and Southpaw, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker and Rachel McAdams. Escape’s solo release of 2016 was a remake of The Magnificent Seven, Directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke. In 2017, Escape released The Equalizer 2, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington.
Escape’s most recent film to hit the theaters was The Upside (a remake of the 2011 French film, The Intouchables), directed by Neil Burger and starring Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman, which was released via STXfilms and earned over $100 million at the domestic box office. Escape’s most recent film, Troop Zero, starring Viola Davis, Allison Janney, McKenna Grace and Jim Gaffigan, was released via Amazon Studios on Amazon Prime on January 17th and is available to stream now.
Next up for EA is Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, starring Oscar winner Viola Davis, opposite Chadwick Boseman in an adaptation of August Wilson’s play, which was released on December 18th and is now streaming on Netflix. Escape also currently wrapped production of The Man from Toronto, starring Kevin Hart & Woody Harrelson and directed by Patrick Hughes.
On the television side, Escape Artists first straight to series show, Perpetual Grace, LTD., starring Ben Kingsley, Jimmi Simpson and Jacki Weaver, premiered on June 2nd on EPIX, with a limited run conclusion currently in the works. Also recently airing on the Discovery Channel is Why We Hate, a six-part docu-series from Steven Spielberg and Alex Gibney, which examines the origins and dangers of hate. Escape’s most recent release available via Apple TV+’s wide streaming service is Servant, in association with M. Night Shyamalan and starring Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Nell Tiger Free and Ruper Grint, with Season 2 releasing on January 15, 2021, to be followed by Season 3, which has already been announced. Also currently in production is Dr. Death, based on the Wondery Podcast, which is set to air on Peacock.