Apparently, once you’ve already created a wildly successful animated series and an equally successful Broadway musical, the only logical next step is to form your very own production company. That way, you can continue with your creative endeavors, but with total control over everything.
At least, that’s what Matt Stone and Trey Parker have done. The duo behind South Park, now in its 16th season on Comedy Central, and The Book of Mormon, still a hot Broadway ticket, have launched their very own company, appropriately dubbed Important Studios. They’ve built the new biz with revenue from their show and musical, along with support from various investors, the New York Times reports. The company is already sitting comfortably at an estimated value of $300 million.
“Having worked with several different studios over the years, we came to realize that our favorite people in the world are ourselves,” the pair joked in a statement. And thus, Important Studios was born. The company will oversee television, movie and theater projects. The first major project? A film version of The Book of Mormon. The mega-hit, which won nine Tony Aways in 2011, has already grossed more than $200 million. Stone and Parker are betting it will do pretty well on the silver screen too.
The comedy duo has been toying with the idea of launching a production studio for two years now. “At first we thought we’d get some money from a hedge fund or a Russian oligarch or something,” Stone told the New York Times. But alas, it turns out that the help they needed came not from Russian oligarchs but from some Hollywood insiders. Investors include a boutique merchant bank whose head they met through Ari Emanuel, the co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor.
Book of Mormon fans are probably pretty excited about the move, as it means the notoriously hilarious show will eventually hit movie theaters. But hey, now that Stone and Parker will maintain total control over content, production and distribution, maybe we’ll even see a South Park/Book of Mormon hybrid. Cartman and Kyle as Mormon missionaries? Stranger things have happened.