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Graham King Biography

  • Profession: Producer, Executive Producer
  • Born: Jan 1, 0001
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001
  • Birth Name: Graham Peter King

Known among directors for his willingness to take ingenious risks and trusted by financiers for his impeccable taste, Graham King is one of modern cinema's most resoundingly successful producers. As the president and CEO of Initial Entertainment Group (IEG), an independent finance, production, and distribution company, King turned the concept of "split-rights deals" with A-list talent (via agreements forged with ICM) into a veritable art form. As the force that saw many of cinema's riskiest and most successful productions through to fruition, King also flexed his muscles to prevent many ill-advised pitches and in-development projects from ever seeing the light of day, thus guarding studios and distributors from untold losses and forging friendships in high places. Among other accomplishments, King saved [[Performer~P112040~Steven Soderbergh~stevensoderbergh]]'s Academy Award-winning [[Feature~V230156~Traffic~traffic]] after [[Performer~P24238~Harrison Ford~harrisonford]] dropped out of the drug czar role (which King eventually filled with [[Performer~P88134~Michael Douglas~michaeldouglas]]). He salvaged [[Performer~P101066~Michael Mann~michaelmann]]'s [[Feature~V249601~Ali~ali]] by buying the film's foreign rights and he rescued [[Performer~P110533~Martin Scorsese~martinscorsese]]'s [[Feature~V257288~Gangs of New York~gangsofnewyork]] by underwriting the film for 65 million dollars.Born and raised in London, King traveled to the United States on a student visa in 1982 and studied computer science and economics at UCLA. A two-week summer internship at 20th Century Fox blossomed into a six-year career in international distribution under the aegis of William Saunders. When Saunders retired, King accepted foreign sales positions with such companies as King's Road and Cori, then pooled forces with business partner [[Performer~P204233~Cindy Cowan~cindycowan]] to form IEG in 1995. Their initial output consisted largely of vehicles such as the [[Performer~P52664~Leslie Nielsen~leslienielsen]] comedy [[Feature~V152409~Rent-A-Kid~rentakid]] (1995), but King soon set his sights quite a bit higher, notably via several lucrative collaborations with [[Performer~P110533~Martin Scorsese~martinscorsese]] including [[Feature~V257288~Gangs of New York~gangsofnewyork]] (2002), [[Feature~V287834~The Aviator~theaviator]] (2004), and [[Feature~V388935~The Young Victoria~theyoungvictoria]] (2008, with [[Performer~P110533~Scorsese~martinscorsese]] as a producer and [[Performer~P199556~Jean-Marc Vallée~jeanmarcvallée]] directing). King also produced the box-office blockbusters [[Feature~V261164~The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys~thedangerouslivesofaltarboys]] (2002) and [[Feature~V331174~Blood Diamond~blooddiamond]] (2006).

In the late 2000s, King launched his own production banner, GK Films, with plans to continue the craftsmanship of prestige productions. These included the aforementioned co-production with [[Performer~P110533~Martin Scorsese~martinscorsese]] entitled [[Feature~V388935~The Young Victoria~theyoungvictoria]] (scripted by [[Performer~P23035~Julian Fellowes~julianfellowes]]) and development deals with [[Performer~P18682~Johnny Depp~johnnydepp]]'s production company, Infinitum Nihil. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi