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David Ellison’s Hollywood profession has been outlined by high-octane blockbusters stuffed with suspense, stunts and unbelievable plot twists.

However on Sunday he landed his largest cliffhanger but, placing a deal to merge with Paramount after months of negotiations with the corporate and its controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone. If the deal closes, he can 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 reveals a comparatively undistinguished appearing profession, with minor roles in movies just like the fighter drama “Flyboys” and teenage comedy “The Chumscrubber” (through which he performed “Pupil No. 1”). It wasn’t till he grew to become 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: Not possible — 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 govt 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 beneficial franchises.

Lengthy earlier than he produced “High Gun: Maverick,” Mr. Ellison was one thing of a daredevil himself. In 2022 he instructed The New York Instances that he began flying planes in his adolescence and competed in acrobatic air reveals 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 “Any person Kissed Me at a Bar.” Neither Megan Ellison nor Sandra Lynn are on Skydance’s govt group.

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, protecting with the broader development towards bundling, in line with two individuals accustomed to his pitch to Paramount’s board.

Paramount’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, is keen about different facets of the Skydance deal, two individuals accustomed to her pondering stated. She thinks Mr. Ellison’s administration group 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 knowledge suppliers, an individual accustomed to his presentation stated. Skydance has possession stakes in Paramount’s most financially profitable reveals and flicks, together with “Mission: Not possible” and “High Gun,” so uniting the 2 corporations may give the mixed firm better flexibility in managing its franchises.

A key govt in discussions with Skydance is Jeff Shell, the previous chief govt of NBCUniversal. Mr. Shell, who joined the Skydance backer RedBird Capital final yr, will turn out to be 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 these days 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 increase the attain of sports activities programming. And final yr it produced “Air,” a film concerning the making of Nike’s Air Jordan model.

Lauren Hirsch contributed reporting.

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