Former MGM and Sony Pictures Senior Vice President Eric Paquette launches a new company, Meridian Pictures, to focus on creating content for film and television. “I have spent the last 25 years creating content for a worldwide audience both in film and television. Today, content providers have never had more information about what their audience wants, and I look forward to working with direct-to-consumer platforms, financiers and studios to help fill their pipeline with compelling stories for their specific audience.” The projects in development include Papa Alpha Heavy, from writer Michael Walker, an action thriller set on a commercial airline. Gary Fleder is set to direct, and Christian Mercuri’s Capstone is financing. Other projects Paquette is packaging include Meltdown, from screenwriter Jessica Postigo, based on the life of Bonnie Klea, the former Rocketdyne employee whose advocacy for worker victims of nuclear radiation exposure at the contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory led to a massive restitution program. Paquette will produce. Kinetic, from Chris Dennis, is an action thriller where a truck driver has to deliver dangerous cargo to save his pregnant wife. Paul Katis is attached to direct, with Carson Reeves. The Hot Red Lights, from Morenike Balogun, is described as a “tonal blend of Pulp Fiction and Drive.” The thriller follows a young Nigerian woman living in Tokyo’s Red Light district who “seeks protection from the Yakuza only to find that she can never outrun her past.” Operation Checkmate, by Postigo, described as the “true story of the hostage rescue mission of three Americans and French presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt in the FARC-infested jungles of Columbia. Paquette will produce with RCN Media. The Rising, by Brooks McLaren and Dave Rosenthal, is the story of Hall of Fame boxer Billy Miske. Rosenthal will direct and Paquette will produce with Bruce Nash and Rosenthal. What’s In It for Me, by John Pogue, is the true story of a former wise guy who went undercover to take down members of the Arizona State legislature in a sting operation called “AzScam.” Paquette will produce with Pogue, who acquired the book on which the script is based. Georgia in Hawaii, by Rose Lichter-Marck, is based on the story of the 14 days that Georgia O’Keeffe spent in Maui in 1939, and of the 13-year-old girl who changed her life. Executive Order, from Robert Tannen, is a political thriller in the vein of No Way Out. Paquette also has a slate of TV projects. Meridian acquired the rights to The New Chardonnay, based on Heather Cabot’s book with writers Alice O’Neill and Jada Nation attached. The book is subtitled “the unlikely story of how marijuana went mainstream.” Cabot and Lisa Leshne will executive produce with Paquette. Also on the slate: The Port Authority, inspired by the career of Michael Valenti, the former chief of counter-terrorism for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Meridian acquired his life rights. The Superintendent is a series that is being developed with Sonja Brookins Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, and will focus on the life of a big city superintendent. Paquette will executive produce with Christopher Morphew, the dean of Johns Hopkins School of Education. Eric spent the earlier part of his career at CBS’s Sports, News and Entertainment divisions and the well-liked executive is one of the few in Hollywood with significant creative experience in all mediums. At MGM, Paquette worked on the James Bond franchise and oversaw The Barbershop movies, among other projects. At Sony’s Screen Gems, he most recently worked on The Intruder, as well as Slenderman, No Good Deed, The Wedding Ringer and Friends with Benefits, among other projects. He has been very active in industry political circles and was a member of both President Biden and President Obama’s National Finance Committees. Paquette also was head of finance for Eric Garcetti’s mayoral campaign. He also is a commissioner and former president of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and is on the national advisory council of the Johns Hopkins School of Education. Media Contact: Jennifer Buonantony PPLA Social + PR [email protected]  323.496.1976 Source: Meridian Pictures