EXCLUSIVE: Former MTV frontman Van Toffler is back in a formal relationship with the company where he spent nearly three decades as an executive. MTV Entertainment Group has signed a multi-picture deal with independent studio Gunpowder & Sky, co-founded and led by Van Toffler, former CEO of Viacom Media Networks Music & Logo Group. The pact follows MTVE’s collaboration with Gunpowder & Sky on Comedy Central’s Holiday Hot Mess film, starring Kal Penn, who was recently nominated for two NAACP awards, and signals a push in this area for the ViacomCBS division.
As part of the pact, Gunpowder & Sky CEO Toffler and his former MTV colleague David Gale, who has a production deal with G&S, will develop comedy films for MTV Entertainment’s portfolio of brands and platforms. .
It’s familiar territory for Toffler and Gale who built MTV’s film business with MTV Films, which Toffler initiated and oversaw and which Gale led for more than 11 years. The duo released films such as Election, Napoleon Dynamite, Varsity Blues, Hustle & Flow, The Longest Yard, Tupac: Resurrection and The Original Kings of Comedy.
“Van and David are incredible creators and tastefully proven hitmakers – we’re thrilled to partner with them and develop a new slate of comedy films that I have no doubt will be hilarious and incredibly entertaining. “said Chris McCarthy, President and CEO, ViacomCBS Media Networks.
Toffler left Viacom in 2016 after 28 years. He started at MTV and worked his way up to become President of MTV and MTV2 and eventually CEO of Viacom Media Networks Music & Logo Group. He directed a cult animated series Beavis and Buttheadhelped usher in the docu-reality genre with the real world, and spearheaded the launch of a number of award shows, including the VMAs, as well as several social campaigns, including VH1’s Save the Music.
“They say the culprit should never return to the scene of the crime, but here I am back in my old house which was crazy enough to allow me to do various outrageous comedies like The Kings of Comedy, Napoleon Dynamite, Jackass, Blades of Glory, The Longest Yard, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, Election & Wood to name a few,” Toffler said. “So if Chris McCarthy and the rest of the ViacomCBS gang are dumb enough to give me the car keys again, how could our studio not jump at this opportunity. Buckle up!”