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David Ellison’s Hollywood profession has been outlined by high-octane blockbusters full of suspense, stunts and inconceivable plot twists.

However on Sunday he landed his largest cliffhanger but, hanging a deal to merge with Paramount after months of negotiations with the corporate and its controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone. If the deal closes, he will probably be in control of a sprawling media empire that features CBS, MTV and the Paramount film studio.

Although Mr. Ellison, 41, joined the forged of Hollywood’s energy gamers greater than a decade in the past, he hasn’t taken middle stage till now. Right here’s a have a look at his profession.

A fast perusal of Mr. Ellison’s web page on the Web Film Database exhibits a comparatively undistinguished appearing profession, with minor roles in movies just like the fighter drama “Flyboys” and teenage comedy “The Chumscrubber” (during which he performed “Scholar No. 1”). It wasn’t till he turned a producer that his star in Hollywood started to rise.

After he dropped out of the College of Southern California and gave up on appearing, Mr. Ellison turned to producing. His household’s appreciable affect — he’s the son of the Oracle founder Larry Ellison — helped him bankroll big-budget movies like “Mission: Unimaginable — Ghost Protocol” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

Alongside the way in which, the valuation of Mr. Ellison’s firm Skydance Media ballooned to greater than $4 billion, after private-equity corporations like RedBird Capital Companions and KKR invested in it. Mr. Ellison, the chief government of Skydance, has co-produced hits like “High Gun: Maverick” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” with Paramount, giving him an entree to the corporate’s executives and its Most worthy franchises.

Lengthy earlier than he produced “High Gun: Maverick,” Mr. Ellison was one thing of a daredevil himself. In 2022 he advised The New York Instances that he began flying planes in his adolescence and competed in acrobatic air exhibits into his 20s.

Larry Ellison — who had a cameo in “Iron Man 2” — is personally backing Skydance’s bid for Paramount, throwing his wealth and tech experience behind the deal.

David Ellison’s sister, Megan Ellison, can also be a Hollywood fixture: In 2011, she based Annapurna, which produced “Her” and “American Hustle.” Mr. Ellison’s spouse, Sandra Lynn, can also be in showbusiness: She’s the nation singer-songwriter behind songs like “I Consider You” and “Anyone Kissed Me at a Bar.” Neither Megan Ellison nor Sandra Lynn are on Skydance’s government crew.

Although Mr. Ellison hasn’t laid out his plans for Paramount publicly, he mentioned them with a particular committee of the corporate’s board months in the past. He has mentioned working with one other main leisure firm on a streaming three way partnership in the US, preserving with the broader pattern towards bundling, based on two individuals accustomed to his pitch to Paramount’s board.

Paramount’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, is smitten by different points of the Skydance deal, two individuals accustomed to her pondering mentioned. She thinks Mr. Ellison’s administration crew will add tech and animation know-how to the mixed firm.

Mr. Ellison additionally pitched Paramount on a plan to supercharge the corporate’s streaming capabilities with improved suggestions and extra environment friendly offers with information suppliers, an individual accustomed to his presentation mentioned. Skydance has possession stakes in Paramount’s most financially profitable exhibits and films, together with “Mission: Unimaginable” and “High Gun,” so uniting the 2 corporations might give the mixed firm higher flexibility in managing its franchises.

A key government in discussions with Skydance is Jeff Shell, the previous chief government of NBCUniversal. Mr. Shell, who joined the Skydance backer RedBird Capital final 12 months, will turn into the president of Paramount.

Although Skydance has a deep relationship with Paramount, it has additionally produced motion pictures for different Hollywood studios. Skydance has a multiyear deal to provide animated movies for Netflix, and it has partnered with Amazon on movies together with “The Tomorrow Conflict” and “With out Regret.”

Skydance has additionally currently gotten into the sports-media enterprise. Skydance Sports activities, a division began in 2021, struck a deal in 2022 to associate with the Nationwide Soccer League to create a manufacturing firm that might develop the attain of sports activities programming. And final 12 months it produced “Air,” a film in regards to the making of Nike’s Air Jordan model.

Lauren Hirsch contributed reporting.

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